South Africa's Woolworths Steps Up Battle For Affluent Shoppers With Absolute Pets Deal

By Reuters
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South Africa's Woolworths Steps Up Battle For Affluent Shoppers With Absolute Pets Deal

South African fashion and food retailer Woolworths will buy a 93.45% stake in pet care retailer Absolute Pets from Sanlam Private Equity and Absolute's management, it said, stepping up a turf war for the country's affluent shoppers.

The undisclosed purchase price will be settled in cash and the remaining management-retained shareholding will be acquired by Woolworths over an agreed period after the completion of the transaction, the retailer said.

'Pet care is an attractive and rapidly-developing market, with substantial growth potential. It is also an increasingly important category for Woolworths customers, who consider their pets an integral part of their families,' Woolworths said.

The Cape Town-based retailer is going head to head with its rival Shoprite-owned Checkers, which has opened 67 premium pet stores since 2021.

Pet Product Range

Woolworths was already expanding its pet product range inside its stores, adding more gourmet food, beds and grooming products.


The retailer said the acquisition will accelerate its pet strategy and set the group up to become the "end-to-end pet care destination of choice".

Absolute Pets was established in 2005 and has become South Africa's leading specialist pet care retailer, with a national presence of more than 150 stores, including online, pet spas and pet services.

Stephen Warner, Absolute Pets chief executive officer, and the current management team, will continue to operate and lead the business under the Absolute Pets brand, the companies said.

In August of this year, Woolworths has reported a nearly 15% rise in annual profit as promotional sales, online growth and lower debt offset the impact of power cuts in the country and a cost-of-living crisis in its operating regions.

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