Shoprite, Africa’s largest food retailer, wants to expand to new continents and is eyeing Poland as its gateway to Europe, the Puls Biznesu daily has said, adding its scepticism.
Photo: Lars Frantzen/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Shoprite CEO Pieter Engelbrecht, who visited Poland last week and is in talks with two developers, said entering Eastern Europe would be easy because the African retail giant already has partners in the region, the Puls Biznesu daily said.
South African-based Steinhoff International, owner of the Abra furniture retailer which has 100 locations in Poland, is looking at a controlling stake in Shoprite, which has a market value of some PLN 35 billion (EUR 8 billion), the paper said.
The paper added that Steinhoff is controlled by South African businessman Christoffel Wiese, who is already Shoprite’s main shareholder.
Engelbrecht said Shoprite could use Steinhoff’s synergy in Poland, according to Puls Biznesu, but declined to give the paper details about its plans for expansion in Poland or how partnering with a furniture chain would benefit the food retailer.
Puls Biznesu said that the Polish market was saturated with well-established fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies and while a South African takeover of an existing chain would be a feasible way of entering Poland, building its brand from scratch in Europe would “not be easy”. (vb)