With the latest rounds of news, it is no longer a rumor that Africa’s largest supermarket, Shoprite, will be leaving the Nigerian market soon but will shoprite come to Ebonyi state?
This decision came to be due to specific policies in the country that makes it difficult for the supermarket to maintain its supply chain. In addition, fluctuation of foreign currencies and the devaluation of Naira contribute to the repatriation of funds which is also a significant reason for Shoprite’s departure from the Nigerian market.
While this might not be the only reason why Shoprite is pulling out from Nigeria, the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown are also causes for its loss. This includes the price of commodities and the fact that Nigerians demand quality products at cheaper prices.
Shoprite in Nigeria was sold off to a group of investors led by Persianas Investment property firm, Ketron.
However, the sale of Shoprite in Nigeria is not the only issue worthy of consideration; what happens after the sale is another factor to ponder.
Shoprite’s buyer, Ketron, plans to shift the business’s mode of operation from direct ownership to a franchise system.
According to Tayo Amusan, the chairman of Ketron Investment Limited, plans to continue operations in Nigeria. Shoprite’s goal was to offer a world-class shopping experience on different products across Nigeria. However, with its presence in just eight states in Nigeria, there are proofs that Ketron would love to expand the supermarket’s reach across other parts of Nigeria.
This raises questions of; will Shoprite come to Ebonyi state?
Ebonyi state currently ranks as one of the most developing states in the southeastern part of Nigeria. Ebonyi state is a good site for business concerning good roads, security systems, and stable electricity. This makes the state a target for small and large companies.
However, are there indicators that show that Shoprite will love to cite one of its stores in Ebonyi state?
Reasons why Shoprite will come to Ebonyi state
· Development is on the rise in Ebonyi state
The Ebonyi state government has stopped at nothing to see that the state’s level of development increases. This includes infrastructure and the provision of basic amenities.
The administration has ensured that the state strives with a good road map to aid transportation. This includes building flyovers in Ebonyi state to prevent traffic congestion.
This, in turn, becomes an attraction for investors to cite their business in the state.
Shoprite will love to cite its business in locations that are motorable and accessible.
· Ebonyi state is a seat of fair democracy
Fair economic policies and upholding human rights is a good indicator of a stable economy. No foreign investor will love to put its business under the care of a government that has little or no regard for the welfare of its citizens.
So far, Ebonyi state has strived as a state with fair dividends of democracy. This includes a sound system that ensures swift resolution of internal crises.
This assures small and large businesses that their establishments are safe against clamping down by the government or demolished by angry citizens of the state.
· Fair speech and transparent media practices
Publicity is the sole purpose of marketing. What do you think is the fate of any business if the government controls the affairs of the media?
Ebonyi state has maintained a stable relationship with media houses and journalists. This has enhanced the level of excellence achieved by the state.
The governor, Dave Umahi, over recent issues between reporters of Vanguard newspapers and the former local government chairman, Clement Odah, called for a truce to ensure that peace reigns between both sectors.
The state government upholds the notion that a government can’t survive by suppressing the free dissemination of information. This poses a huge advantage for businesses that love to run ads to drive leads to their business.
· Stable Economy
Ebonyi state boasts of six billion Naira internally generated revenue (IGR) in Q1 2020. The state’s IGR collection spreads across different sectors, including MDAs revenue, Paye, road taxes, total tax, and other taxes.
There is a considerable inclination towards agriculture and technology innovation with the state’s operating system.
Wise investors have the opportunity of cashing into this situation and harnessing the state’s prospects.
Security should be a significant factor to consider before citing a business. Businesses do not prosper in locations of civil unrest. Ebonyi state has lots of CCTV cameras, a fast response security team, and the presence of vigilante bodies.
This assures business owners that their investments are not prone to risks and open attacks.
· Presence of Mineral resources
There are a lot of mineral resources in Ebonyi state. Although these resources might not seem directly useful for Shoprite as they are not a food processing firm, this will help easily access locally produced items.
Shoprite has the opportunity of getting food products at a lower price from local producers and selling them off at prices suitable for the organization to make profits.
The supermarket also has the opportunity of creating a sales section that handles sales of mineral resources or its processed products.
· Cost of living
The cost of living in a state will directly reflect how the state’s people will value goods and services.
This also includes their ability to purchase items at fair prices.
So far, Ebonyi state ranks as one of the most developed states in the southeastern part of Nigeria. The citizens are not seen as one of the richest in Nigeria, nor will there be a direct comparison with the high standard of living in Lagos state. However, Ebonyi state strives as a community that supports startups and businesses with budget-friendly prices.
The argument of bringing Shoprite to Ebonyi state is a decision that only Ketron investment limited. It is up to the management to decide which state will be a profitable zone to cite their stores.