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Choppies Supermarket eyes Victoria Falls
22/12/2014 00:00:00
by Matabeleland North Correspondent
Monopoly ... OK supermarket currently dominating in Vic Falls

BOTSWANA Stock Exchange listed supermarket Choppies could soon open a branch in Victoria Falls, a development that will come as a relief to residents who have been made to put up with high prices due to lack of competition.

This was revealed by outgoing Choppies Chairman, Phelekezela Mphoko, at the official launch of another branch in Harare recently.

“Our prices are not competitive, they are very low compared to any other supermarkets,” said VP Mphoko, adding that “very soon we will be spreading to Gweru and Victoria Falls.”

Mphoko is now the second Vice President after he was sworn in by President Mugabe two weeks ago.

Choppies has opened18 supermarkets in Zimbabwe since last year and if they move into Victoria Falls that could help lower down prices in the resort town where OK and TM supermarkets are the only giants.

There are other few small shops and tuck shops which are found on every street corner in the two suburbs of Mkhosana and Chinotimba.

But the resort town is arguably the most expensive place in the country with every commodity going for few more dollars higher compared to other towns.

Choppies has poured $35 million into the Zimbabwean economy and more funds are expected to be channelled towards 40 more supermarkets in the next three years.

Of the 18 supermarkets, 15 are in Bulawayo where the group made its foray into Zimbabwe last year after it acquired a 49 percent stake in the city’s Modi Enterprises for $21, 2 million.

The other three opened in Harare recently.

Choppies Zimbabwe is a joint venture between listed Choppies Enterprises of Botswana and the Mphoko family. It employs more than 1 400 people and is one of the leading taxpayers in Bulawayo where the retailer is at the forefront of supporting local businesses.

The firm has 63 stores in Botswana and 13 outlets in South Africa and plans to move further north into Zambia and also into Mozambique.

The Victoria Falls Combined Residents' Association chairperson Morgan Dube said the development will be welcome and would provide relief to residents who are paying large sums of money for the smallest of services.

“This will be a welcome development. This is a resort town and in most cases people are charged liked they are foreign tourists which makes life expensive here,” he said.


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