INSIGHT-South African supermarket giants in fine food fight

Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:37pm GMT
 

* Discounter Shoprite drives hard into upmarket niche

* Sets stage for a turf war with rival Woolworths

* Low-income shoppers cut back as recession hits

* But spending of wealthy has held up in downturn

By TJ Strydom

JOHANNESBURG, June 19 (Reuters) - As South Africa slides into recession, and households have less and less to spend, the number one supermarket group Shoprite is adopting an unlikely strategy: it's pushing upmarket.

While the lower-income families that have long been its core customers cut back, the spending of the wealthier class remains undented by the downturn.

In a bid to retain its leading industry position, the discount retailer's new boss is driving hard into the upmarket, higher-margin niche dominated by rival Woolworths.

The stage is set for a turf war to win the hearts, minds and wallets of South Africa's richest 2 million households - and ultimately preeminence in the supermarket sector.   Continued...

 
Powered by Reuters AlertNet. AlertNet provides news, images and insight from the world's disasters and conflicts and is brought to you by Reuters Foundation.