Zimbabwe’s homeless VP Mphoko expands Choppies empire in Zimbabwe

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Gaborone – Botswana-based and JSE-listed African retail group Choppies Enterprises says it will open two more supermarket outlets in Zimbabwe by mid-March.

This is as it forges ahead with its Africa expansion plan.

The fast-expanding retail chain has opened 29 outlets since entering the Zimbabwean market in 2013 and looks set to achieve its medium term expansion target of opening 50 outlets throughout the country by the end of 2017.

Choppies Enterprises Zimbabwe director Siqokoqela Mphoko told local media the company will open a new outlet in Bulawayo early in February, while another shop is set to open in the Midlands town of Gokwe before the end of March.

“We have invested around $200 000 for the new outlet in Bulawayo, It should be opened by mid-February and the building contractors are putting final touches to the renovation of the new premises,” Mphoko said.

Further, he said the new outlet would create 50 new jobs and increase the size of the company’s Zimbabwean workforce to 2 050. At least 2 000 Zimbabweans are already employed in the 29 outlets it operates in the cities of Bulawayo, Harare and Gweru.

The company is also expanding in South Africa where it acquired 21 more outlets early this month.

Mphoko said the group wanted to set up at least 200 retail shops across Africa by the end of 2017.

Kenya is one of the prime target markets for the group, which is funding its expansion from a $15 million loan obtained from Barclays Bank Botswana late last year.

So far, the group operates 125 supermarkets in Southern Africa, with 72 in Botswana, 35 in South Africa and 29 in Zimbabwe.

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