Shoprite, one of the biggest retail stores in the country, is to open its new flagship store today in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, thereby fulfilling its promise to establish outlets in different parts of the country.
Shoprite currently has outlets in Abuja, Enugu and Lagos.
The Ilorin Mall, a joint venture between Persianas and the Kwara State government, is said to be the fourth largest shopping mall in the country at the moment.
Trading from the left wing of the ground floor, the 3,700 square metre store is part of Shoprite’s expansion strategy, as it intends to cover every major city in Nigeria.
The store space is comparable to the one at the Palms in Lekki in Lagos and will have as neighbours a rich line of other international and local Nigerian retail brands.
Located on Ilorin premier business district, the new store will offer customers the very best of Shoprite’s customer service, branded products, groceries, hot bakery meals, as well as a specially chosen selection of food.
Jan Van Zyl, Shoprite’s business development manager, expressed happiness in opening the Ilorin outlet, an environment he described as a “welcoming environment,” stressing that people of the state were renowned for their effortless taste, the firm has quality to satisfy.
According to Van Zyl, “The success of Polo Parks Enugu has proven that centres of this nature can be successful outside of the conventional commercial centre of Lagos and Abuja.
“Shoprite is proud to be part of this development. It is to prove the company’s commitment to serving all Nigerians from all backgrounds and income groups throughout Nigeria. We believe by going to all places where our customers are located, we can serve our customers better.”
According to him, Kwara State has a large agricultural sector, which the new store also considered, as they had already begun discussions with local farmers and suppliers to ensure efficient delivery of products and services; thus increasing its suppliers base.
He approximated that 180 direct and over 100 indirect jobs would be created, as the new store opens and confirmed trading times to be from 9am to 9pm, daily.
Adeola Kagho, the human resource manager of Shoprite, who was enthusiastic about the sustainable employment that would be created, said “we build employee competence by investing in training and development.
“Our training programmes have an organisational and personal perspective to it, which results in our employees ability to carry out their jobs effectively, broadened skill set and personal satisfaction.”
Anton Wagenaar, general manager, Shoprite, will be joined by distinguished Ilorin indigenes and government functionaries to officially mark its presence in the Middle-Belt region of Nigeria.
The group currently boasts of 1,505 stores in 16 countries with over 91,000 employees, of which more than 10,000 work in stores outside of South Africa.
The group’s 162 stores outside of South Africa serve more than 8 million customers per month.