ZAMBIA – South African retailer, Shoprite has opened a new look store ‘Shoprite East Park’ in Lusaka Zambia worth K40 million (US$3m).

This makes it the second Fresh X store in Zambia after the opening of ‘Shoprite Kabulonga’ in woodlands area in March this year.

Shoprite East Park Mall occupying 3 400m² of floor space will include a dedicated cheese bar, a shop-within-a-shop liquor section and a breads-of-the-world bakery offering a wider range of healthier food products.

In addition to that it will operate on extended opening hours from 8am to 8pm every day of the week including public holidays in bid to create convenience to its shoppers.

Shoprite Zambia General Manager, Charles Botha stated that, “By continuing to expand our footprint in Zambia, we illustrate our commitment to the development and growth of our country. This is our 37th Shoprite store in Zambia and with its opening, we’re creating 200 jobs.”

According to Mr. Botha, Shoprite Zambia remains the largest private sector employer having a total of 6,000 direct and indirect workers in Zambia of whom only five are expatriates.

In addition to that the retailer also supports local Zambian suppliers.

“We have about 300 suppliers from whom we stock 41% product made directly in Zambia, 47% value added or brought in for us by local agents and only 12% is what we import directly ourselves which is way up from 90% imported 24 years ago,” Mr.Botha said.

Shoprite Zambia also engages in acts for change in the communities it serves. It has a Mobile Soup Kitchen which is an integral part of its hunger relief program, serving at Zambian Open Community Schools (ZOCs).

Also, they have established food gardens at the schools. To date three thriving gardens have been established in and around Lusaka, and an additional two schools have been identified to also receive food gardens.

The retailer has continued performing well despite the economic challenges that the country is facing especially the issue on power deficit that has had a negative effect on local businesses requiring most of them to invest in generators to keep them going which is costly.

Zambia has a power deficit of more than 750 MW because of low water levels at hydropower dams, caused by prolonged drought experienced in the country. To curb the situation the Zambian government is in talks with South African power utility Eskom to import 300 megawatts (MW) of electricity.