Black Friday, holiday sales spur demand at S.Africa’s Shoprite

Shoprite (SHPJ.J), opens new tab, South Africa’s biggest supermarket group, reported on Tuesday a nearly 14% jump in its half-year sales, supported by a record Black Friday and festive season as cash-strapped shoppers and upmarket consumers went after food deals. The retailer, with more than 2,900 stores across Africa, said group sales for the six-month period ended Dec. 31 rose to 121.1 billion rand ($6.44 billion). Sales in the company’s second quarter, which include November and the Christmas holiday period, rose 14.6%.

Cash-strapped shoppers, hit by high interest rates and inflation, are spending less on discretionary items like clothes and shoes and more on food and essentials. “Sustained high level of execution and continued customer momentum together with record Black Friday and festive season trade has extended the period of uninterrupted market share gains achieved by our core South African supermarket brands to 58 months,” the retailer said.

The group’s core business, Supermarkets South Africa, which contributes about 80.5% to the topline, witnessed a 14.6% jump in sales, also benefiting from the acquisition of 94 stores bought from Walmart-owned Massmart. Like-for-like sales climbed 6.3%.Sales in rest of its stores in Africa rose 6.2% in South African rand terms and by 20% in constant currency. Like its peers, Shoprite is grappling with severe rolling power cuts, forcing it to crank up diesel generators and spend more on back-up power supplies, adding to soaring costs for raw materials, transport and packaging.

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