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Botswana’s Choppies to open 40 new stores in region

Retailer to open 13 stores in South Africa.

Botswana’s Choppies Enterprises, a budget retailer with operations in seven African countries, plans to open 40 more stores in the region by mid-2018 at a cost of about 300 million pula ($29 million).

Choppies plans to enter Namibia before December while expanding its presence in South Africa, Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania, chief executive Ramachandran Ottapathu told Reuters on Monday.

The retailer has 217 stores in the region, including operations in Mozambique and Zimbabwe. 

“We will enter Namibia for the first time before the year ends,” said Ottapathu, who holds a 20% stake in the Botswana-listed retailer.

“After a few years of losses, we are now making profits in South Africa,” he said, adding that he plans to expand in the eastern part of the country with 13 more stores.

The company is still operating below break-even in new markets such as Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia and Mozambique, he said.

($1 = 10.4603 pulas)

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