Woolworths expands African portfolio

By Bizclik Editor

South African retailer Woolworths has announced a joint venture in Tanzania and Uganda to help build its presence in Africa.

The company said it would add another store in Uganda and another two in Tanzania by the end of the year.

Plans for stores in Nigeria, Rwanda and Angola are already underway.

It is the right time to invest in Africa. It represents a huge opportunity for all retailers in SA," said Woolworths’ head of franchise, John Fraser.

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By the end of the 2012 financial year, Woolworths plans to open 16 new stores in Africa, totalling 60 in all. It aims to increase retail space by 42 percent next year and 145 percent over the next three years.

Fraser said that Woolworths now focused on joint ventures, adapting from their previous franchise model.

"We acted as a wholesaler selling to individuals and left the retailing side up to the franchisees in the past. But we are serious about expansion into Africa and realised a joint venture gives us the best of both worlds.

“We can bring our extensive retailing experience and expertise, and work with partners who understand the local environment and customer."

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