Casino’s upmarket Monoprix supermarket chain has quietly exited Mauritius. Of its three stores, one will close while two remaining supermarkets will be rebranded as Winner’s. The move follows Shoprite’s sale of its stores to Pick and Buy Ltd, also owned by Winner’s parent company IBL.
In a notice circulated by IBL’s Winner’s Supermarkets, the largest chain on the island, it will be taking over two existing Monoprix stores at Bambous and Curepipe. A third Monoprix store, at the Mall of Mauritius, has closed.
Mauritius is the second most competitive grocery sector in Africa, after South Africa. Excluding Monoprix, Trendtype tracks 14 separate supermarket chains in the country, most of which have store networks below 10 branches. This includes several international chains including Spar, Super U and Food Lover’s Market, as well as two remaining Jumbo Score outlets (the brand is still owned by Casino).
With just 3 stores and no real strategic value to being in Mauritius, Shoprite agreed to exit Mauritius in July 2018, selling its operations to Pick and Buy Ltd. It closed its flagship store at Quatre Bornes in July and has now closed its other two stores. The takeover by Pick and Buy has been agreed by regulators in Mauritius.
Trendtype predicts more retailers will exit or merge operations: the Food Lover’s Market franchise looks particularly vulnerable to exit, while there is a question mark over the ability of the Spar and Super U franchises to scale organically.