Shoprite Opens at The Palms
Africaâ€™s biggest food retailer, Shoprite, will today officially open its first Nigerian supermarket at the multi-billion naira shopping mall, The Palms, located in the Lekki area of Lagos, just as Game, another South African discount store operator opens Monday.
Although the official opening ceremony of The Palms, expected to be performed by President Olusegun Obasanjo, is slated for March 2006, the two stores are among the anchor tenants of the shopping mall which has 20,000 square metres of let-able space.
The Palms Mall, when completed would become the biggest shopping mall in Africa and it is being built by Mr. Rob Ray, a South African who built substantial part of Sandton, the commercial nerve centre of Johannesburg, South Africa.
According to the leasing agent of the mall, Mr. Ladi Adegbite, while Shoprite has taken 4000 square metres of space, Game is taking 6600 square metre and the third anchor tenant which are being used as a test run prior to official opening, Nu Metro, a cinema operator with six screens, has taken a space for 1200 seats.
Speaking on the mall which is owned by a Nigerian entrepreneur, Mr. Tayo Amusan, Adegbite disclosed that â€œit has been a long journey as work on the mall started about six years ago.â€
He disclosed that the mall would provide an alternative avenue for Nigerian shoppers who would not have to travel abroad to shop, expressing satisfaction at the opening of Shoprite and Game.
Shoprite is Africa’s largest food retailer which operates 780 corporate outlets in 17 countries across Africa, the Indian Ocean Islands and southern Asia, and reported turnover of R29,813 billion in its 2004/2005 financial year.
The company’s head quarters is situated in the Western Cape province of South Africa and it is a public company listed on the JSE Securities Exchange, with secondary listings on both the Namibian and Zambian Stock Exchanges.
Game Stores is a subsidiary of the listed holding company Massmart and was established as Game Discount World in Durban in 1970, where it opened its first store in cramped premises in Smith Street in the city’s CBD and rang up sales of R78,000 in its first month of trading.
Game was born out of the belief by its founders that shopping had become a tedious and boring pastime and they conceptualised retailing as a game and then pooled their limited savings to turn the concept into reality by creating a fun environment for shoppers, who were attended by staff in shocking pink, a corporate colour which has prevailed to this day.