I had never really thought about it, not until I read the Walmart book by one of its former VP’s, can’t remember its name now. But then, about a month later and I step into Shoprite Ikeja and I’m taken by surprise at the similarities in open view.
From the promotion of friendly in-store staff, to the checkout management, to the lowest price inventory approach… it’s a long list, but all things considered, I believe what we have here is an attempt to incorporate a successful business model.
What is my take on this? You might ask. I think it’s a great job they have done so far, and I’m glad to be one of their “frequent” shoppers. It’s not every day you find a Nigerian company striving for that level of excellence. If you do not agree with me, feel free to share your ideas.
DOWN TO THE CRITICISM
What I still do not understand though, is why Shoprite hasn’t gone into the Social/Online sphere. I checked their website again before releasing this post and it’s just an eye sore, I would almost do one for free for them just so they get rid of that thing. Some might argue that they are not ready for e-commerce, some might say they cannot take on the extra operations, and yet others might say it would never work. I don’t know if that last set has been online lately though, Konga and Jumia seem to have found a pot of gold lying idle in the middle of the ecommerce playground and they are fighting hard for it. Even outside the website, does anyone know of an official Facebook page? The one I found has 13 likes!!! I don’t want to believe that’s the real thing.
And so my take? Get online Shoprite and I’ll be your biggest fan. Your “low prices” added to convenience would blow customers minds away. Plus once you get into e-commerce, you could leverage your in-store locations and bring a crazy mix to the two platforms. You could always study Walmart.com for help on that.
Secondly, I can only say for the front-end, pardon my developer language, but I cannot say what happens at a management level. From books I have read, Sam Walton was just the coolest boss ever. I have no idea who runs Shoprite, however I must say, it’ll be hard to copy Walmart’s way without duplicating the management style. Hearing stories like how every official trip must be booked weeks ahead just to save cost for the world’s biggest company (not sure if it still is), that’s truly phenomenal, and it’s a deep mindset.
So to the staff and management of Shoprite, what you have in your hands is a potential tool to dominate the Nigerian retail sphere, I personally love your services and I hope that you grow in leaps. But growth comes from a willingness to try out new things, we wouldn’t kill you if you get it wrong the first time. Just try to see how it turns out.
PS: I actually would like to know if they monitor online mentions. Let’s see how long it takes for them to find this post and comment 🙂