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Rediff.com  » Business » South African retail major to set up shop

South African retail major to set up shop

December 09, 2004 13:34 IST

Shoprite Holdings Ltd, the South Africa-based $4.71 billion Shoprite Holdings Ltd, the biggest retailer in Africa, will be setting up India's biggest hypermarket -- Shoprite Hyper -- in Mulund, Mumbai.

The store, which will span 50,000 square feet, will open on December 15 at the Nirmal Lifestyle Mall. It will operate through the cash-and-carry model as well as through the franchisee route.

Speaking to Business Standard, Ram Hari Sunker, who is the director of Shoprite in India, said, the company has a presence in 18 countries.

The hypermarket will have 30,000 products including food items, kitchenware, toys, stationery, appliances and clothing and will employ 250 people initially.

"A large percentage of the products will be sourced locally and the remaining will be imported," Sunker said.

He did not divulge the name of its Indian partner in the retail venture. According to sources, Shoprite was in talks with Godrej for a tie-up though the status or the nature of the tie-up is not known.

The Indian government has not yet allowed foreign direct investment in the retail sector, though there have been indications that the government was not averse to allowing 100 per cent FDI in the branded retail segment.

However, it has allowed FDI in the cash & carry wholesale business. Under this system, Metro AG of Germany is already operating in Bangalore.

"We would not like to reveal the investment figures also at this point of time but we have got the approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) for this purpose," Sunker said. Shoprite had received the Foreign Investment Promotion Board's investment approval.

Shoprite today has 705 corporate outlets that include supermarkets, hypermarkets, fresh produce distribution centres, furniture outlets, house and home stores and fast food outlets.

It earned revenues of rand 27.1 billion ($1 = 5.751 rand) for year ended 30 June 2004, thereby growing from the rand 24.9 billion that it grossed in 2003.
Barkha Shah in Hyderabad