Africa’s largest supermarket chain, Shoprite is closing a second branch in Kenya, laying off 115 workers. The first branch closed in April; there are now two stores left in the country.
Shoprite, which opened its first store in Kenya in 2018, has informed the workers’ union of the closure of the City Mall branch in Nyali, Mombasa, and job cuts.
Shoprite, which recently announced divestment from the Nigerian market earlier this week, is restructuring its plan across Africa as currency devaluations, supply challenges and low consumer spending reduces its earnings outside South Africa.
The South Africa market accounted for 84% of its overall sales last year.
The closure of the stores will put a dent in Shoprite’s expansion plans in Kenya, where it has remained with two branches and had targeted opening seven stores, including six in Nairobi.
Two of Kenya’s three top retailers Uchumi and Nakumatt were in trouble, with the former having closed stores.
Former regional leader Nakumatt collapsed.
The company has been reviewing its long-term options in Africa as currency devaluations, supply issues and low consumer spending in Angola, Nigeria and Zambia have weighed on earnings.
The retail giant which owns more than 2,800 outlets across Africa, said in a trading update that it was pursuing the sale after reviewing its operating model and receiving approaches from various investors.
In February chief executive Pieter Engelbrecht told analysts that Shoprite remained committed to the continent but not at any cost.