Bingo moment for Carrefour as it inks lease transfer agreement with Shoprite for Ugandan stores

UGANDA – A golden opportunity for Majid Al Futtaim, the regional franchise holder of Carrefour, to rapidly expand in the retail sector of Uganda’s economy has unveiled itself.

The Dubai based conglomerate has entered into an agreement with Shoprite Checkers Uganda Limited, to take over the six stores of the South African retailer in the East African nation.

Following the implementation of the agreement, Majid Al Futtaim will expand its footprint to eight Carrefour stores.

“We welcome the opportunity to bring our unique Carrefour offering of unbeatable value, range, international standards to more customers across Uganda.

“Majid Al Futtaim is fully committed to creating great moments for the communities we serve for the long-term.  This agreement represents our continued investment in East Africa. We look forward to strengthening our offering in the region and supporting local talent through employment and career development opportunities,” commented Hani Weiss, CEO at Majid Al Futtaim Retail.

Carrefour entered the Ugandan market in 2020 with the opening of its maiden outlet in Kampala’s Oasis Mall, and in March 2021 opened its second store in Naalya.

The retailer currently provides 20,000 products across its stores, of which 98% are locally sourced.  Customers are also able to order products online through partnerships with Glovo and Jumia Food.

Both parties will work closely together to ensure a smooth transition of the stores and its operations. 

The six stores are located in Acacia Mall, Village Mall, Victoria Mall, Lugogo Mall, Clock Tower, and Arena Mall.

As part of the agreement, the Lugogo Mall and Clock Tower properties will also transfer to Majid Al Futtaim who remain committed to its local supply chain and now, new tenant partners.

The deal follows Shoprite’s announcement of classifying its operations in Madagascar and Uganda as discontinued.

Shoprite’s exit from the fore mentioned markets was propelled by currency devaluations, supply issues and low consumer spending, marking the end of nearly two decades of operations in Uganda.

Over the last several years, Uganda’s retail sector has seen a steady exodus of foreign businesses, mostly from South Africa, on the back of slowing economic growth, exacerbated by the effects of Covid-19.

Another South African based retailer, has also put up its 14 Game stores in East and West African stores for sale to focus on its core strengths.

The consumer goods distributor has begun a formal sales process to divest in five Game stores in Nigeria, four in Ghana, three in Kenya, one in Uganda and one in Tanzania.

The decision to sell Game stores in east and west Africa comes a year after a review of the group’s portfolio outside of the Southern African Development Community.

With the acquisition of the outlets, Carrefour is expanding its footprint in the local retail space where it currently competes mostly with local retail chains, including Capital Shoppers, which has multiple outlets in the capital Kampala.

The foreign owned retailer has grown more rapidly in neighbouring Kenya, where it has become among the top two retailers since starting operations in 2016, thanks to the failure of home-grown chains like Nakumatt, which collapsed in 2017.

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