SHOPRITE Supermarket chain has reopened its shop in Solwezi with an investment of $20 million, some 19 months after a fire reduced the store to rubble.
The shop, gutted in January last year following an electrical fault, opened yesterday at 09:00hrs with a scramble by scores of shoppers some of whom waited from as early as 05:00hrs.
Shoprite general manager, Stefan Kranz, who was on hand during the reopening, said the company had invested about $20 million in the shop, which was 25 per cent bigger than the old shop.
"It's good to reopen this store, which is the new version. It is modern and you can be proud of it anywhere in the world. It is much bigger than the previous one," Mr Kranz said.
He said the shop was bigger and apart from catering for the locals and some shoppers from Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, it would cater for Lumwana Mine which started operations last December.
He said he would be having a meeting with Lumwana Mining Company management today about the possibility of opening a shop at the mining township under construction, west of Solwezi.
"We just want to see how the township development is going on at Lumwana. We might build a small shop there," he said.
Solwezi residents were happy with the reopening of the shop in Solwezi after enduring exaggerated prices from other shops, that started reducing prices 24 hours before the opening of new Shoprite store.
A shopper, Wiseman Simkoko, found shopping with his wife, said the opening of Shoprite was good news to the residents of Solwezi after suffering exploitation.
And as the shop opened, there was near stampede as scores of people ran into the premises, and it had to take police and management to control entry into the shop.