Botswana Stock Exchange listed Choppies Enterprises has started selling clothes in some of its stores and it will become even more visible in 2017. The retail giants said on its integrated annual report for 2016 that it will also continue to introduce other suits of products in the New Year.
“Management successfully introduced a number of new product categories in the year which boosted profitability, and we expect this positive momentum to continue in the year ahead,” Choppies said.
“We also plan to launch clothing in six hyperstores in the coming months,” it added. Choppies added seven new stores during the year which created 600 new jobs. Turnover amounted to BWP4 545.1 million and the profit increased 1.11% to BWP203.21 million. Five new stores are planned in FY17.
According to the company, Botswana experienced subdued economic activity with growth of less than 2%. It said generally prices were lower than the previous year due to deflation caused by the weakening rand.
“Our main challenges were the depressed economy and low demand for diamonds resulting in a decrease in estimated government expenditure for the year 2016/17. We do not expect this macro landscape to change in the near future.”
The retail market grew slightly in the year due to the shift from wholesale to retail, with the retail market now exceeding 60% of the total pie. While basket size reduced, fast food improved.
“We noted the trend in the year of customers cutting down on luxuries and opting for smaller pack sizes. Our house brand SKUs increased to 268 and we are planning to introduce a further number of new goods in FY17.”
The newly introduced value added services, such as money transfers and utility payments, performed well and we expect this offering to continue growing in the future. The back-end technical integration of the services with the supporting banks is complete and the Oracle system, which runs the services platform, was launched.
Botswana-based Choppies is the fastest growing grocery retailer in Africa. Dual listed on the BSE (Botswana) and the JSE (South Africa), the company has a total market cap of over BWP4.5 billion (ZAR5 billion) as at 30 June 2016.
The leading retailer in Botswana, Choppies also has a presence in eight of the nine provinces in South Africa as well as in Zimbabwe, Kenya and Zambia, with Tanzania and Mozambique following in FY17. In addition to traditional grocery offerings Choppies is rapidly expanding its financial services offering throughout its outlets.