By DAILY NEWS Reporter, 22nd December 2011 @ 11:05, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 3884
SOUTH African giant food and fashion retailer, Woolworths International opened the largest shop on the continent outside the home country in the Ugandan capital, Kampala last Tuesday.
In a statement, the company’s local partner, Infotech Investment Group Chairman, Ali Mufuruki said the shop was opened after a recent joint venture between Woolworths International of South Africa and himself.
Mr Mufuruki said the shop makes good their promise to open three new shops in Tanzania and Uganda within 90 days after signing of the joint venture last September.
“The newest Woolworths store will offer the widest range of products ever seen in East Africa in a uniquely pristine shopping environment,” Mufuruki said in the statement.
Mufuruki who is also Chief Executive Officer of W- Stores Co Ltd equated progress made in the last three months as a roller-coaster ride that saw a new shop open at the Grandocean Baraka Plaza in Dar es Salaam last September and another at the Tirupati Mazima Mall in Kampala last October.
"This brings the total number of Woolworths stores owned by the company in Tanzania and Uganda to seven, up from four only three months ago,” he said.
So far, the company which opened its first shop in Dar es Salaam some 12 years ago, has so far invested three million US dollars (about 4.8bn/-) in the east African region, thanks to customer loyalty as demand for its brands surges.
“Woolworths recently launched Pan African strategy is showing early signs of success. Our more than 70 years of retail experience, financial resources and commitment to play a leading role in Africa's economic growth story over the next decades together with the local knowledge and strong business leadership that our local partners bring to the joint venture is an unbeatable combination,” said Glenn Gilzean, Woolworths’ Group Director for Retail Operations.
The Kampala grand opening ceremony was officiated by Chairman of Uganda Investment Authority, Patrick Bitature who said in his speech paid tribute to the South African food and fashion retail chain for its confidence in the Ugandan market and for creating badly needed jobs.
"We are very proud of your achievements and wish you all the best in the future," Mr Bitature said. Woolworths, a Cape Town South Africa-based retail chain, is listed as one of the top 50 companies on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange.
Woolworths focuses on high quality fashion apparel, foods, homeware and financial services through a joint venture with Absa Bank also of South Africa.
The retail chain has more than 400 shops in South Africa, several African countries, the Middle East and has a majority share in iconic Australian clothing brand, Country Road. Woolworths group turnover in the last financial year was 3.3 billion US dollars (over 5.1trn/-).
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