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South African retailer Truworths exits Nigeria, citing tough operating environment

South African retailer Truworths exits Nigeria, citing tough operating environment

Nigeria

South African retailer Truworths, has exited the Nigerian market.

The listed clothing company closed its two remaining stores in Nigeria citing stringent import regulations and rising costs in Africa’s biggest economy.

According to the chief executive officer Michael Mark, the clothing company struggled to get stock into Nigeria and cash out of the country.

“The regulations were making it extraordinarily difficult to get stock into the stores, we can’t get money out, so there was no point any longer.” said Michael Mark, the CEO.

Consequently, it was unable to fill its shelves, struggling to pay rent and get access to foreign exchange which has dried up due to the collapse in oil prices.

However, Truworths is expanding in other markets apart from South Africa.

The Cape Town-based company bought a majority stake in UK shoe chain Office Retail Group Ltd. last year, and also has stores in sub-Saharan African countries including Kenya and Botswana.

This is not the first time that a South African entity has exited the Nigerian market.

In 2013, food and clothing retailer Woolworths announced the closure of its three stores due to similar challenges facing Truworths.

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