South Africa’s Woolworths closes down its Ghana outlets

South African department chain Woolworths has closed down its two stores in Ghana in a second retreat from West Africa.

Woolworths mall

This is the second West African country the department chain has closed its outlet in. the retailer exited Nigeria in 2013 because of high rents and duties as well as difficulties marketing to consumers in Africa’s most populous country.

Responding to a mail from Fashionnetwork, the retailer said: “Following a comprehensive review of our operations in Ghana, we have closed our two stores in the country.”

“We remain confident in our overall Africa investment strategy and we are experiencing healthy growth in the majority of our African countries,” it added.

When Woolworths opened its second store in Ghana in 2014, it was betting on year-on-year economic growth, coupled with rising household incomes, increasing urbanisation and a significant emerging middle class, according to its 2014 press release.

At the time, Ghana’s economy was considered as one of Africa’s most dynamic for a decade until 2014 when it was hit by a slump in global prices for its gold and oil exports. 

Ghana has since been recovering with gross domestic product growth at 7.1% this year.

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