Shoprite positions for Mozambique with new store

Memory Mataranyika

Harare - South African grocer, Shoprite [JSE:SHP] is to open a new store in Tete, Mozambique as companies in Africa's second largest economy spread their wings elsewhere across the continent.

The new Shoprite store will be housed at a new shopping center in Tete, where it will be the anchor tenant, according to property developer, Terrace Africa, and will open later this year.

The property development company is earmarking new shopping malls in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique in the next few years.

Mozambique is already in the advanced planning stages of developing a new coal fired power station in Tete, which has a population of about 250 000.

This is expected to boost economic activity in the province, especially with a new rail corridor linking up with Nacala set to open later this year.

“We are thrilled to bring this new shopping experience to Tete. The project has already provided jobs to the local community and we are confident that it will encourage further investment in the town,” said Sean Oberholzer, the development manager for Terrace Africa.

Mozambique’s Tete province plays a key role as a major transitional hub linking Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Rising economic activity in the province will likely translate to massive business for retailers and other investors.

Shoprite is hoping to tap into this potential and has positioned to offer – through the new Tete store – a “full selection of groceries and fresh produce as well as a bakery, deli, butchery and liquor offering”.

Terrace Africa says the mall will also include other fashion and furniture retailers as well as banking services.

Shoprite has a presence in about 14 countries across Africa, which strategy analysts say is in line with other SA companies that are spreading their interests across other markets on the continent.

Interest in the rest of Africa is chiefly being driven by positive prospects, poorly capacitated local competitors as well as the continent’s projected population boom which will likely push up demand for goods and services.

Terrace Africa said on Thursday that apart from Mozambique, it had also set its sights on similar shopping complex developments across the southern African region.

Focus for the company in the region would be on developing malls in small cities and towns in-order to capitalise on the shopping and service requirements of communities as opposed to mega malls in the big cities.

“Terrace Africa’s strategy is to build convenience type retail shopping centres across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia. We focus on smaller towns where we are able to make a difference to the communities and bring new concepts and products to market, we are enthusiastic about the opportunities that exist in Mozambique as it suits our investment profile,” said Oberholzer.