Pick n Pay to step cautiously into Nigerian market


RETAILER Pick n Pay will be making a foray into the Nigerian market through a joint venture with AG Levintis.

AG Leventis, which is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, has nearly 90 years of trading experience in that market.

Pick n Pay CE Richard Brasher said at the company’s full-year results presentation on Tuesday that there was a dearth of formal players in that country, which represented an opportunity for Pick nPay.

“Nigeria is a country and a market which Pick n Pay cannot ignore in its quest for long-term sustainable growth. The challenge, of course, is how to succeed in Nigeria. We can all point to examples which have not worked.”

With the largest population on the African continent, Nigeria has for a while been touted as the holy grail within the Africa Rising narrative. However, penetrating the market has proved to be tough for South African entrants, with some cutting their losses and exiting the market. These include Woolworths, Tiger Brands and Telkom.

Woolworths entered the Nigerian market in 2012, opening up three stores. In 2013 Woolworths announced a decision to close all three stores. Woolworths CEO Ian Moir said at the time: “We made a mistake going into Nigeria. We were never going to make money in the next five to 10 years in Nigeria.”

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