Choppies The No. 1 Ladies’ Retail Agency
What’s up with Choppies since we last heard from them? 40 new stores, that what. Well, not right now, but in the very near future. They plan on breaking ground in Namibia for the first time by the end of the year, then it’s all systems go, with new locations planned for South Africa (13), Zambia (8), Kenya (4), Tanzania (3), Mozambique (3), Zimbabwe (2) and Namibia (3). This as they announce their switch to profitability in South Africa after several lean and no doubt worrying years. Back home in Botswana, Choppies is under fire for paying its South African workers far more than they receive in Gabs. Erstwhile co-founder and current 19.5% owner, Ramachandran Ottapathu, is having none of it, however, pointing out somewhat refreshingly that it costs twice as much to live in South Africa as it does in Botswana.
Comment: A snappy little operation. While Choppies’ room for growth in SA might be constrained, it’ll be interesting to see how they fare in other African geographies, insofar as geographies is an actual word.