Top 5 Biggest Retailers In South Africa

When it comes to the retail business in Africa, South Africa is without-a-doubt a market leader. It is home to many retail stores that not only have their presence in the country but also beyond. The number of retailers in South Africa is always on the rise, this is attributed to the increasing middle-class market competition and also urbanization.

The 5 Biggest Retailers in South Africa are as follows:

1. Shoprite:


Shoprite is the largest retailer in South Africa. It has been in the top position for the last five years. Besides being the top retailer in the country, it is also regarded as one of the most dominant brands in the region. Shoprite Holdings is a public company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) – JSE: SHP. It was established in 1979 and has its headquarters and head office in Brackenfell, in the City of Cape Town, South Africa. It is headed by J.W. Basson who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). C.G. Goosen is the Deputy Managing Director (MD); P.C. Engelbrecht is the Chief Operations Officer (COO), while C.H. Wiese is the Chairman.

The retailer employs more than 90,000 employees who are spread out in the different outlets in the country as well as Africa. Shoprite has more than 453 stores that are spread out in different countries in Africa. The brand is found in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, Lesotho, Ghana, Malawi, Madagascar, Mozambique, Mauritius, Nigeria, Namibia, Swaziland, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Shoprite also operates under other names some of which include: Checkers, Usave, OK furniture, House & Home, Hungry Lion, Medi Rite and more. It also has a couple of Franchises under the OK brand. The total corporate outlets exceed 1200.

2. Pick n Pay:


Pick n Pay is ranked as the second largest retailer in South Africa. The supermarket chain store was founded in 1967 and has its headquarters in Kenilworth in Cape Town, South Africa. It is headed by Richard Brasher who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), while Gareth Ackerman is the executive chairman. Gareth Ackerman took over the role of executive chairman in 2010 after the retirement of his father Raymond Ackerman. The supermarket chain store employs about 50,000 people. Pick n Pay is listed as a public company at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-JSE: PIK.

See Also: Top 40+ Most Innovative South African Companies to Follow

It has outlets in many countries located in the southern part of the continent. These include Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Lesotho, Mauritius, and Malawi. Pick n Pay operates Supermarkets, Hypermarkets, Liquor stores, Clothing outlets, Express stores, Pharmacies, Mini markets and more. It operates franchises in South Africa and also other parts of Africa. The most popular franchises are Boxer and Score Supermarket. Besides South Africa and Africa, Pick n Pay has a presence in Australia. The store has been going through some rough economic times of late and has been forced to restructure. This has led to some employees being laid off.

3. Massmart (Walmart):


Massmart Holdings Limited is the third largest retailer in South Africa. It is a public company that is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (MSM: JSE). Massmart was established in 1990 and has its headquarters in Sandtown, in the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. It began its operations by acquiring six stores from the Makro brand. Ever since the company has continued to experience impressive growth. This has been achieved through the acquisition of other stores as well as good market performance. Some of the brands acquired by the firm include Dion, Shield, Browns and Weirs, Game, Jumbo, Builders and Warehouse, CCW, Build rite, Cambridge Food, De Lay Rey and many others.

USD to ZAR: Convert Dollar to Rand/Exchange Rate

Like other retailers in South Africa and the whole region, Massmart focuses on general merchandise, food items, home improvement equipment and liquor. The store has outlets in Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana and other regions. Massmart also owns brands which include Game, Builder’s Warehouse, Makro, and CBW. The number of retail outlets that can be found in South Africa and other African countries is more than 300. In June 2011, Walmart, the largest retailer in the United States bought majority shares in the Company. The acquisition of Massmart by Walmart was met with opposition from the government as well as the labour union. However, the matter was eventually resolved.

4. SPAR:


SPAR is the fourth largest retailer in the South African Market. It is the only non-South African chain store that features on the top-five list. SPAR is an international brand which was started in 1932 in a small town in the Netherlands known as Zoetermeer (Zegwaart). In 1953, it shifted its base to the town of Amsterdam. The Dutch-based multinational retailer operates convenience stores, grocery stores, hypermarkets, discount stores, and pharmaceutical shops spread out in not only South Africa but the world at large.

There are about 12,500 retail outlets of SPAR found in 35 countries all over the world. Besides South Africa, the brand is found in countries such as Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Oceania, Japan, Hungary, Northern Ireland, Republic of Vanuatu, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Australia, Zambia, Swaziland, China, Mauritius, India, Angola, Nigeria and Greenland. SPAR also operates franchises. For instance, it will be referred to as Despar in Italy, and Hotspar in Japan. It also comes in sub-brands such as interspar, spar express, euro spar and more.

5. Woolworths:


Woolworths Holdings Limited is one of the largest retailers in South Africa precisely the fifth. The chain of retail stores is listed as a public corporation at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE: WHL). The first Woolworths store was founded by Max Sonnenberg in Cape Town in 1931. Woolworths Holdings Limited is headed by Ian Moir (CEO) and Simon Susman (Non-executive chairman). It has about 18,000 employees in South Africa only. The retailer deals in clothing, groceries, footwear, food stores, homeware, beauty products, and financial services. The stores are spread out across South Africa, the rest of Africa and also the Middle East. Products from the retailer are sold by franchise stores, corporate stores, and petrol station outlets.

Amazing Things You Can Do On eBay South Africa

See Also: OLX South Africa: How to Buy and Sell on the Classifieds Website

There goes the list of the top 5 biggest retailers in South Africa. Looking at the list it is evident that the stores holding the top positions have dominated the market for quite a long time. This clearly indicates the potential that exists in the country. And if the performance in the recent past is anything to go by, the future outlook for the retail sector in South Africa looks bright.

Was this article helpful?
Andile Smith
Andile Smith
Andile provides articles on anything from Politics, Sports, History and entertainment to funny, creepy and weird. His passion for writing allows him to take what is ordinary and transform it into a real masterpiece. He's a true storyteller with a passion for tech and literature
data-matched-content-rows-num="2" data-matched-content-columns-num="4" data-matched-content-ui-type="image_stacked" data-ad-format="autorelaxed">


Who is Shauwn Mkhize? She’s Was Married to Her Millionaire Husband S’bu for 15 years

No list of successful South African women would be complete without Shauwn Mkhize. She is an accomplished business executive famed for her business acumen...

Itumeleng Khune Is Married and Shares A 10-Year Age Gap With Wife Sphelele Makhunga – Meet His Family

Itumeleng Khune has covered the distance in both his professional life, as well as his love life. He is now very much of a...

Dawn Thandeka King – Insights into the Age, Husband and Family of MaNgcobo from Uzalo

Not every actor became successful through multiple roles. Dawn Thandeka King, like some actors, achieved fame and fortune with just one role. Although the...

Nkanyiso Makhanya Did Not Make His First Uzalo Audition – Meet The Real Life Njeza

Uzalo is, without a doubt, one of the most followed South African TV shows at the moment. Just as it has become popular, it...

Zodwa Wabantu Has A Son and Has Cancelled Wedding Twice – Meet The Boyfriends She’s Dated

Anyone who has ever heard of Zodwa Wabantu, which is possibly everyone not living in the caves, will attest that she is controversial on...

Featured Today

Sbahle Mpisane Didn’t Grow Up With Her Biological Mother – Meet Her Parents and Family

Sbahle Mpisane is a fitness expert, reality TV star, and social media influencer of South African origin. She rose to immense popularity after she...

Who is Sbu Mpisane? Biography of the Flamboyant Husband of Shauwn Mkhize

Sbu Mpisane was once just another police constable with hardly a name on the public space. However, he rose from being a metro police...

Who Is Gibson Makanda – Nelson’s Alternate in the Mandela Effect Conspiracy Theory?

When the name of Nelson Mandela is mentioned to the bigger part of the world, what comes to mind is a South African hero...

Sbahle Mpisane’s Road to Recovery from the Car Accident That Nearly Took Her Life

Sbahle Mpisane came to be in the world of fame as a South African fitness expert and influencer, and TV personality best known for...

Demystifying Njeza From Uzalo’s Real Name And Why People Think He Is Gay

Nkanyiso Makhanya is a South African media personality and actor who was brought to a brighter side of fame when he starred in one...
Was this article helpful?

Related Stories