Woolworths closes Nigerian stores

By Marc Castro

Nov 07, 2013 01:22 PM EST

Woolworths Holdings Ltd., the food and clothing retailer from South Africa, announced plans for the closure of three of its stores located in Nigeria. The closures are due to high rental costs, import duties and difficulties involved in its supply chain.

According to an emailed statement from Woolworths Holdings Ltd CEO Ian Moir, "When an investment no longer generates viable returns, difficult decisions have to be made to contain costs. The Woolworths clothing and general-merchandise business in Nigeria has not been successful, despite attempts to improve performance."

Despite this decision, Moir reassured that Woolworths would continue on its expansion mode with its 59 stores in 11 African countries beyond its South African market. The retailer had opened two stores in Lagos, Nigeria in March 2012 and then a store in Enugu in October 2012. The said moves comes after retailers in its home market faced increasing competition and declining disposable incomes from the domestic consumer market.

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