Based on the growing demand for formal retail as well as their close proximity to the Botswana-based supermarket and general retailer, Choppies has announced plans to expand its operations into Zambia in 2015.
In a recent interview with HowWeMadeItInAfrica.com, the CEO of Choppies, Ramchandran Ottapathu, explained that the currently low retail penetration in Zambia combined with the growing demand for formal retail made the opportunity for expansion a feasible reality.
“The formal retail penetration in Zambia [is] still under 20%,” he said, “So that leaves a lot of opportunity for us to expand.”
During a recent launch of the supermarket in Harare, Choppies Chairman, Phelekezela Mphoko, indicated that the chain is currently exploring opportunities to open a branch in Victoria Falls in Zambia in a move that is welcomed by the Victoria Falls Combined Residents’ Association chairperson Morgan Dube.
“This will be a welcome development,” he said, “this is a resort town and in most cases people are charged liked they are foreign tourists which makes life expensive here.”
Choppies was established nearly 15 years ago and in that time has grown from two locations to more than 120 outlets in Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
While many investors thought Zimbabwe to be politically and economically unstable, Choppies expanded their operations in the country to include 18 locations within the first 18 months of entering the Zimbabwean retail market.