ABN - South African retailer Massmart is planning to open about 20 new stores across sub-Saharan Africa over the next three years, said its chairman Kuseni Dlamini.
The Wal-Mart-owned subsidiary operates nearly 400 stores, including 42 in 12 countries outside of South Africa, and will continue its pan-African expansion in the coming years.
“We’re very bullish about Africa, sub-Saharan Africa as a whole,” Kuseni Dlamini told Reuters at the African CEO Forum in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital Abidjan.
“This year alone we will be opening eight new stores on the African continent. In the next three years we’ll be expanding our retail trading space by 35.6%.”
New stores will open in Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique, Zambia and Swaziland.
Dlamini confirmed that Massmart’s expansion plans do not exclude French-speaking West and Central Africa, and the company is currently studying markets in these regions.
“When we talk about growing our business across sub-Saharan Africa, that definitely includes Francophone Africa,” he said.
The chairman also said Massmart sees itself as playing ‘a catalytic role’ in the modernisation of African retail. “We are deliberately very cautious and measured. It’s a very measured strategy, because we’re in it for the long term.”