Choppies reveals growth strategy with Ukwala acquisition and expansion into Kenya

By Frazer Jones
With 124 stores and seven distribution centers operating throughout its native Botswana along with South Africa and Zimbabwe, Lobatse-based Choppies is...

With 124 stores and seven distribution centers operating throughout its native Botswana along with South Africa and Zimbabwe, Lobatse-based Choppies is both the leading supermarket chain in Botswana and the fastest growing supermarket chain in most of the Africa market. This week, the chain announced further strategies for growth and expansion north of its current territory. On Monday Choppies revealed a conditional agreement with Ukwala Supermarkets to acquire 10 of the Kenya-based supermarket chain's locations and rebrand them under the Choppies name.

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Choppies will be operating its new locations through a joint venture partnership with the promoters of Export Trading Group, an agricultural commodities trading and logistics business. The Kenya-based local partner will retain control 25 percent of the property, with Choppies holding the majority share.

More than an acquisition of opportunity, this acquisition of Ukwala Supermarkets’ Kenya locations represents a key growth strategy for Choppies.

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The Ukwala locations being acquired are in advantageous locations within Kenya—as Business Day Live reports, three of the 10 locations are within the country’s capital of Nairobi, with an additional two in major urban center Nakuru and five in the populous port city of Kisumu. Acquisition of the Ukwala locations grants Choppies a strong established footprint and immediate access to some of the biggest consumer markets in Kenya.

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According to the Star Africa, Choppies has invested $10 million in this agreement as part of its plan to operate at least 200 stores in at least six countries by the end of 2016. Choppies is also eyeing the potential for growth in Tanzania and Zambia.

For more coverage of African business ventures, visit our sister brand African Business Review

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[SOURCE: Business Day Live; Star Africa]

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