South African supermarket chain Woolworths is to open three stores in Nigeria in December – its first stores in the continent's most populous nation.
The high-end store chain has signed a joint venture with Nigeria's Chellarams and said it aims to open seven further stores in the country over the next two years.
Retailers are expecting stronger competition from Walmart owned Massmart – and competitors Shoprite and Pick n Pay have both announced plans for more outlets across Africa.
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"We are confident about our investment in Nigeria and the growth prospects of the Nigerian market," said John Fraser of Woolworths' international division.
"The country has a large population with significant and growing middle and upper-income groups."
Nigeria will be the 11th African country outside of South Africa that Woolworths are present in. The others are Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Mozambique. In comparison, Massmart operate in 12 other sub-Saharan African countries and Shoprite 15.
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