President of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR), Denford Mutashu has said retailers in the country should set footprints in the region to contribute to foreign currency generation.
Speaking at the CZR Midlands retailers and wholesalers awards ceremony at a local hotel in Gweru last Thursday, Mutashu said some retailers had approached CZR with plans to expand into the regional market.
“We have retailers who have approached us with intentions to expand and invest in Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and a few of them in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Mutashu said.
“Those markets are lucrative and as CZR we encourage our retailers to explore such areas and contribute to foreign currency generation by investing in other countries.”
According to a market research carried early this year by the country’s trade promotion body ZimTrade, Botswana, which has the second most developed retailer sector in the region was importing 98 percent of fresh produce from South Africa, 1 percent from Netherlands and a paltry 0,2 percent from Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile Mutashu urged retailers and wholesalers to desist from shortchanging consumers by charging “unreasonable prices.”
Several retailers and wholesalers from the Midlands province walked away with prizes and notable among them were N. Richards, which clinched the Retailer of the year, Wholesaler of the year and local procurement respectively while Choppies supermarket won the supermarket of the year.
The most Innovative retailer/wholesaler and furniture retailer of the year respectively went to TV Sales and Home while Simrac scooped best retailer branch network and Simbisa Brands winning Fast Foods retailer of the year.
Pote Hardware won the hardware and electrical retailer of the year with Gain Cash and Carry clinching the retailer/wholesaler employer of the year.