Massmart reorients growth efforts towards East Africa and Zambia

South African retailer Massmart, in which Walmart holds a majority stake, intends to open 47 new stores by 2021, with about a third of this space to be located outside of its domestic market. According to CEO Guy Hayward, “Zambia and East Africa are interesting to us because they’re not totally dependent on mineral resources like West Africa … Kenya and Zambia have quite strong tourism industries and a little bit of local industry, so the economic play there is a bit more robust.”

Twelve international markets accounted for 8.7% of Massmart’s sales (USD552 million out of USD6.3 billion) in 2018, with revenue in these markets growing at an annual rate of 3.9% in constant-currency terms. It added approximately 13,000m² of retail space in international markets during the year. Massmart currently operates three Game stores in Zambia, while the banner’s second Kenyan store opened last year. Hayward characterised Massmart’s approach to international markets as “slow and careful.”

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