Woolworths Quits Ghana in Second Retreat from West Africa

Woolworths Holdings Ltd. has pulled out of Ghana, the second time in six years the upmarket South African retailer has exited a market elsewhere on the continent.

The seller of designer clothing and organic food closed its two stores in the West African country, the Cape Town-based company said in an emailed response to questions.

The retailer is “experiencing healthy growth” in the majority of African markets where it continues to trade, it said.

Woolworths, which derives almost all of its income from South Africa and the David Jones department-store chain in Australia, quit Nigeria in November 2013 because of high rental costs, duties and difficulties with its supply chain.

South African retailers and restaurant chains have had mixed fortunes in Ghana even as its economy is poised to expand at a rate of more than 6.8% for a third straight year.

Since 2017, Truworths International Ltd. and Famous Brands Ltd. have closed outlets while Walmart Inc.’s Massmart unit and Shoprite Holdings Ltd. have expanded their footprints.

Woolworths held closing down sales in its stores in Accra, the Ghanaian capital, with 75% off the price of all items.