ZAMBIA – Shoprite, Africa’s leading retailer is continuing to expand its footprints outside its traditional market South Africa, opening its 40th outlet in Zambia.
Located at the Jacaranda Mall in Ndola, the new branch promises to continue with its legacy of low prices, offering a variety of products, in addition to sourcing 90% of its goods and services locally.
Unlike its other operations outside South Africa, which have been impacted by currency devaluations, supply issues and low consumer spending, Shoprite Zambia has been showcasing stellar performance with sales increasing by 15.8%, in the half-year period.
“The opening of our 40th Shoprite supermarket in Zambia is a very special occasion. We converted the store from an existing opposition store and opened it in the record time of just over one month. It normally takes about 5 months to open a new store,” said Charles Bota, General Manager of Shoprite Zambia.
The retailer introduced Zambia to world-class shopping with the opening of its first supermarket in 1995, on Cairo Road in Lusaka, and has expanded throughout the country over the last 25 years.
Today, Shoprite Zambia occupies 112 000 m² of trading space and has been procuring from local suppliers since it entered the market, starting with four suppliers and growing that number to the current 150.
It employs 7,800 people directly and another 1,550 indirectly (as merchandiser, butchery, cleaning and security staff).
More than 50% of Shoprite Zambia’s employees are women and 80% of jobs are occupied by youths aged 25 to 35 years.
Shoprite invests US$49m to upskill unemployed youth
The leading supermarket chain brand notes that it has spent more than R700 million (US$49m) over the past five years on extensive retail skills and training programmes to enhance the career options of South Africa’s unskilled and unemployed youth.
This has been expended on training 24 308 people in the group’s own Retail Readiness Programme, providing 1 027 bursaries, and training 5 765 young people (over the past three years) in the Youth Employment Service (YES) programme.
All of these initiatives are aimed at training and upskilling people not previously employed by the group and are focused on helping unemployed youth gain the skills they need to secure jobs in the retail industry.
Skills development does not stop there, as there are numerous inhouse and external programmes in place to upskill the Group’s 140 000 employees.
These include learnerships, skills programmes, internships, bursaries for tertiary education and partnerships with TVET colleges.
Accredited programmes run by Shoprite at its Retail Varsity, a registered private further education and training college, include everything from customer service and artisanal skills to chain store operations.
As the country’s largest private sector employer, the group believes that skills development drives its own business and the economy and can transform the lives of many of its employees and job-seeking young people.
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