The store will reportedly be located at Ngilichi House, the building that currently houses Meriting Spar.
Meriting is a franchise of Spar supermarket. "There is no deal yet. If something happens we will let you know. Just relax until you get the right information. We are still in talks with Meriting Spar owners to use the building to operate our store," Choppies CEO Ramachandran Ottapath told Business Week yesterday.
Reliable sources say Choppies officials inspected the store on Wednesday. Meriting Spar will reportedly have vacated the store building by 20 October 2013. Insiders add that Choppies would have fully occupied the store early November.
Already some stock has been removed from shelves at Meriting, perhaps an indication that the present management is pulling out to pave way for Choppies. Prices of other goods, it is said, will be significantly reduced before October 20 as a tactic to clear stock. "Choppies will rent the building. The building is owned by the owners of Meriting spar," said a source early this week.
Archie Mbakile, Meriting Spar Managing Director, said yesterday, "We are still in talks with Choppies about the possibility of renting the building (to operate their store). Nothing has been finalised yet". The reported takeover has reportedly caused panic among employees who are not certain if Choppies will absorb them all. However sources have said that employees have been well briefed about the impending closure of Meriting Spar.
Choppies currently has one store at Loja Mall in Somerset East Extension and another at Blue Street Shopping Centre on Blue Jacket Street. Choppies, which is currently listed on the domestic bourse, has over 50 stores in Botswana and others in neighbouring South Africa.