“Go Choppies!” is the cry. And you’ll hear it these days from Gaborone to Nairobi, where the plucky young retailer is on the verge of acquiring Ukwala Supermarket, whose creditors it has urged to declare their outstanding debts in writing, for which monies Choppies has said it would not be liable in the event of a takeover. Having offered one billion Kenyan shillings for the business in its entirety, or $10million US, it presumably feels it has done its bit. And now, we are told, the Kenyan Competition Authorities are on-board too. Ukwala, you may recall, is Kenya’s fourth largest chain, behind Nakumatt, Uchumi, and Tuskys but ahead of Naivas. It has ten stores scattered between Kisumu, Nairobi and Nakuru, and these will go some way toward the fulfilment of Choppies’ ambition to have 200 stores by the end of next year.
Comment: With listings on not one, but two stock exchanges and what appears to be a handsome war chest, Choppies is, we imagine, within a decade of taking on SA’s finest.