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ShopRite To Shutdown Abuja Mall, Blames Economic Hardship

ShopRite Mall has announced its decision to cease operations at its Novare Central Mall branch in Wuse Zone 5, Abuja, a move which was attributed to prevailing economic challenges.

The closure, set to take effect on June 30, 2024, was confirmed through a circular signed by Dr. Folakemi Fadahunsi, Chief Executive Officer of Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited, and obtained by our correspondent on Monday.

The circular reads, “We regret to inform you that as of June 30, 2024, Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited will be closing its Wuse Store located in Novare Wuse Central Mall, Abuja. This decision has been made after a thorough evaluation of the store’s financial situation and the current business climate. We believe this is the best course of action for our organization’s long-term growth.

“Effective June 30, 2024, our company will no longer operate in Wuse, Abuja, and we will no longer require your services for the Novare Wuse Central Mall Store. Please note that all existing service contracts will also terminate for the store.”

The company also assured vendors that it would review its accounting records within the next 60 days to settle any outstanding balances.

“If your services are specifically tied to the Novare Wuse Central Mall Store and if there is an outstanding balance between our companies, we will carefully review our accounting records over the next 60 days (about 2 months). We will then promptly contact you to confirm the amount owed and discuss a suitable payment schedule.

“We would like to express our gratitude for your past business. It has been a pleasure working with you and your team. If you have any questions or concerns, or if there is anything we can do to assist you during this challenging transition, please do not hesitate to reach out to us,“ the circular added.

The closure of ShopRite’s Wuse branch is part of a trend of multinational companies exiting Nigeria due to economic hardships.

Recently, beverage company Diageo sold its 58.02 per cent shareholding in Guinness Nigeria to Tolaram Group on June 11, 2024.

The departure has resulted in a significant economic impact, with an estimated N94trn loss of output over five years, according to Dr. Vincent Nwani, an economist and former Director of Research and Advocacy at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Notable closures in recent years include Standard Biscuits Nigeria Ltd, NASCO Fiber Product Ltd, and Union Trading Company Nigeria PLC in 2020; Tower Aluminium Nigeria PLC, Framan Industries Ltd, and Surest Foam Ltd in 2021; Universal Rubber Company Ltd and Gorgeous Metal Makers Ltd in 2022; and Unilever Nigeria PLC, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Ltd, and ShopRite Nigeria in 2023. The trend has continued in 2024 with exits from Microsoft Nigeria, Total Energies Nigeria, and PZ Cussons Nigeria PLC, among others.

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