BOTSWANA’s leading supermarket, Choppies, plans to expand its operations in Zambia by opening nine more outlets with Chipata branch to be unveiled this month-end.
Group chief executive officer Ramachandran Ottapathu said Zambia’s favourable investment climate has allowed the retail chain store to rapidly broaden its business prospects to other potential markets outside Lusaka.
Mr Ottapathu said, when he paid a courtesy call on Zambia’s High Commissioner to Botswana Brigadier General Patrick Tembo, that Chipata will be the latest investment destination with a store to be opened this month.
This is contained in a statement issued by Zambia’s first secretary to Botswana Kasabo Kalussa.
In 2014, Choppies started its operation in Zambia with one store in Lusaka’s Kanyama Township and to-date operates 12 outlets in the country with a total workforce of 800 locals.
“The group expects to double its operation to around 2,000 with the opening of the nine more stores by December this year,” Mr Ottapathu said.
He said Choppies stores were importing a lot of Zambian agricultural products that are on demand in Botswana and Zimbabwe.
“We have since invited a few of the manufacturers from Zambia so that we can export most of the products from there, because some Zambian products on our shelves are selling like hot cakes.
“We have a delegation from Trade Kings coming here [Botswana] on the July 28, we are further making arrangements to engage small medium enterprises,” he said.
At the same event, Brig. Gen. Tembo said Zambia is open for investments and that Government has put in measures to encourage business growth.
He said private sector engagement is essential in the continued growth of the Zambian economy and commended the retail conglomerate for expanding its footprint in Zambia.
He encouraged the group to engage in the best business practices as it competes with other retail supermarkets operating in the country.