Choppies to open 18th branch in Bulawayo
CHOPPIES Zimbabwe director Mr Siqokoqela Mphoko says the adoption of bond notes and use of plastic money has impacted positively on the company’s performance.
At a time when the economy is facing a shortage of US$ notes, Mr Mphoko commended consumers for embracing plastic money and adopting bond notes, which were introduced into the market by the central bank last November.
He revealed that the Bulawayo-headquartered retail firm was working on opening its 18th branch in Parklands in Bulawayo, the first branch in the eastern suburbs. The new branch will be situated at Parklands shopping centre, where OK’s Bon Marche was located before closing shop.
“Our operations are going well and for us to open another shop shows business is moving forward smoothly. We are operating in a good atmosphere where everybody has accepted bond notes as tender in Zimbabwe and that has significantly helped us as retailers, as Choppies,” said Mr Mphoko.
“The use of plastic money has seriously increased sales, so we are not complaining.”
Since its entry into the Zimbabwean market, Choppies’ services have been concentrated in the western suburbs and the city centre.
“As you know our headquarters is in Bulawayo and we want to cement our position as the dominant player here. We are in Bulawayo and currently we have 17 shops spread all over the city including the western suburbs and CBD.
“We didn’t have a footprint in the eastern suburbs and we need some service there. This gives us the opportunity to reach our customers there,” he said.
“This one will be an upmarket Choppies, a little different from what we know but it will still have the same prices and same level of stock we see in other shops. This will be our 18th shop in Bulawayo and 33rd in the country.”
He said Choppies has already signed a lease agreement with the property owners, paving way for the refurbishment of the shop. Mr Mphoko said if things go well the new branch will start operating in September or October. He said the closure of Bon Marché at the place has nothing to do with Choppies.
“Choppies is not concerned with what OK or Pick n Pay does. We are only concerned about our footprint and how we add value to our customers. Whatever decision was taken by Bon Marché and OK we are not privy to that and cannot talk about other retailers. We can only talk about the opportunity that has been handed over to us, ukufa kwenye indoda yikuvuka kweyinye,” he said.
Mr Mphoko said he was satisfied with Choppies’ growth so far as the business has established its presence in strategic cities.
He said the company was forging ahead seeking opportunities in other sites such as Kwekwe, Zvishavane, Masvingo and Nkayi.
“We are working very hard with Nkayi, it will have to be something we sit down with council and start from the ground up,” he said.