The Big Red One, having beat a strategic withdrawal from Nigeria, has shown this week that its ambitions for this great continent are by no means exhausted, with the opening of its 40th store in Zambia at the Jacaranda Mall in Ndola. It’s interesting to note that Pick n Pay, which once claimed Zambia as its African bridgehead, has 24 stores in the country. One of the reasons for Shoprite’s success in Zambia has been its ‘buy local’ policy, with 90% of goods and services purchased in-country. Another is employment: the business has hired 7,800 people directly and another 1,550 indirectly, 80% of these between the ages of 25 and 35. In other Shoprite news, not unrelated, the retailer has spent R700m over the past five years on retail skills and training programmes, training over 24,000 people in its retail readiness programme, providing 1,027 bursaries, and training 5,765 young people in the past three years in the Youth Employment Service (YES) programme.
Comment: Commendable stuff from Shoprite, creating jobs for the generation that most needs them.