Top 5 Supermarket Retail Chains In South Africa

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Top 5 Supermarket Retail Chains In South Africa

South Africa's food retail market is the largest on the African continent. The industry achieved global sales of nearly $38 billion (€34.9 billion) in 2022, or 20% of GDP, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Here’s a list of the top five supermarket retail chains in South Africa, according to their most recently-available full-year turnover.

1. Shoprite

Turnover (2023): R215 billion (€10.3 billion)

Shoprite leads the food retail sector in both South Africa as well as the rest of the African continent. In 2023, the JSE-listed retailer reported revenue of R215 billion, up from R183.4 billion the previous year.

In its Supermarkets RSA segment, its core business operates major brands such as Shoprite, Usave and Checkers, which together account for 80% of total sales.


Shoprite operates a total of 3,300 outlets across the country through a myriad of formats, including convenience stores, discounters, hypermarkets and supermarkets.

Read More: South Africa's Shoprite Will Spend $440m To Support Market Share Growth

2. Pick N Pay

Turnover (2023): R106 billion (€5.1 billion)

Founded in 1967 with just four stores, in the years since Pick N Pay has been at the forefront of driving innovative changes in the retail landscape in South Africa, chiefly by introducing the hypermarket format to the country. Today, the group's network includes both supermarkets and hypermarkets, as well as discount outlets.


In 2023, it had almost 90,000 employees and a network of 2,204 outlets in South Africa and in seven other African countries – Namibia, eSwatini, Zambia, Botswana, Lesotho, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Read More: Pick n Pay Founder Raymond Ackerman Passes Away Aged 92

3. SPAR Group

Turnover (2023): R91 billion (€4.37 billion)

SPAR Group, or SPAR South Africa, operates 2,500 stores throughout the country, specialising in food retailing, off-licence sales, as well as the sale of pharmaceutical products.


The company, which also operates on the African continent in Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia, reported retail revenue of R91 billion in 2023, equating to 4.9% growth on a year-on-year basis.

Read More: SPAR Group's Sale Of Polish Business 'Takes A Weight Off': Analyst

4. Massmart Holdings

Turnover (2021): R84.9 billion (€4.1 billion)

Massmart Holdings, which is, majority-owned by Walmart Inc,  is one of the biggest players in South Africa. It operates more than 300 stores in nine sub-Saharan countries. It operates in general merchandise, liquor, home improvement and wholesale food markets.


The group reported total sales from continuing operations for the 52 weeks ending 26 December 2021 of R84.9 billion.

5. Woolworths Holding Limited

Turnover (2023): R73.2 billion (€3.52 billion)

Woolworths Holding Limited operates some 1,354 stores in 13 countries, including 12 in South Africa. Adjusted EBITDA by business segment is essentially split between food (43.5%) and clothing, beauty products and household goods (55%).

Woolworths, known colloquially as 'Woolies', employed 38,782 people in South Africa in 2023. The group is also present in Australia and New Zealand.

Article by Espoir Olodo.

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