BOBONONG: Choppies chain stores now have 45 branches countrywide, following the opening of another supermarket in Bobonong last Friday.
While the opening of the chain store is seen as a threat to the survival of small and medium retailers, Assistant Minister of Agriculture, Shaw Kgathi believes such businesses should be innovative to survive competition. He said at the official opening of the supermarket that retailers should be commended for serving the Bobirwa community before the supermarket came.
He said the opening of a Choppies supermarket in Bobirwa should provide healthy competition among entrepreneurs. "The outlook in the coming in of Choppies should be a product of healthy competition. They (other retailers) should exploit lower prices to enhance their business, therefore, they should not close down," Kgathi said.
He said other retailers in the village should come up with new strategies to ensure that their businesses stayed afloat. He asserted that the presence of Choppies in Bobonong will bring immense benefits to the residents and invigorate growth in the farming sector.
He said this was because Choppies supports local farmers through purchase of produce. "Choppies has opened doors for horticulture products. Local farmers should be able to sell their produce here," Kgathi said. He added that another benefit has been the direct employment of 50 people, mostly locals from Bobonong.
Other downstream industries are expected to benefit from the opening of the shop. Kgathi said the opening of the Choppies branch in the village will improve productivity in the civil service because officers will no longer travel to Selebi-Phikwe to do shopping.
Kgathi who is the Bobonong MP said the
He urged Choppies supermarket employees to serve the community with dignity and enthusiasm. A director of Choppies, Sadique Kebonang told Monitor Business that though small enterprises will be affected by the supermarket in Bobonong, they will not die.
He said Choppies' presence will bring healthy competition and small retailers will have to adapt to survive.
Kebonang said Choppies was once a small business but it has grown to be what it is today through innovation.
"It is a reality that small businesses will be affected. But they have to adapt in order to compete. Choppies was a small business and that laid the foundation for our growth," he said.
He added that small businesses have to grow because if they remain small they will be forced to close. It is how you manage competition as a small business that counts. This calls for innovative ways to sustain the business," Kebonang said. He said Choppies will save consumers time as they will buy an assortment of items under one roof.
Assistant Minister, Olifant Mfa, who is a Choppies franchise holder said the chain store supports citizen empowerment through buying locally.
He said Choppies is unlike some businesses, which channeled their profits outside the country without benefiting the local population.