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IGA Inks Deal to Re-Enter South Africa

CHICAGO — IGA here said Tuesday it plans to re-enter South Africa through a partnership with Johannesburg-based Unitrade Management Services.

IGA, whose members operate more than 5,300 stores in 38 countries around the world, originally entered South Africa in 2002, but there have been no IGA stores in the country since 2008.

Unitrade is an independent management services group that provides a range of products and services for independent grocery retailers in the South African marketplace. Under the partnership with IGA, Unitrade’s 110 Powertrade, Food Town and Best Buy grocery brands will adopt the IGA banner, and Unitrade has committed to growing its IGA store count to 250 stores within the next five years.

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“Unitrade and IGA have a shared vision to assist independent retailers with building strong and successful businesses,” said Jad Pereira, chief executive officer, Unitrade, in a statement. “The partnership of Unitrade brands and IGA’s globally recognized brand will create a formidable power, enabling Unitrade to stay ahead in the local market and increase our ability to remain competitive in global best practices, which is particularly significant when looking at the international competition that has entered our market.”

Mark Batenic, CEO of IGA, said the organization is “very pleased to welcome Unitrade as a member of IGA.”

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“It goes without saying that we see lots of promise in this new member company, which embodies the entrepreneurial spirit and community commitment that is the hallmark of IGA around the world.”

Drawing on the IGA Coca-Cola Institute training resource, Unitrade will be rolling out in South Africa the Unitrade Academy, a training school that will offer comprehensive classroom and online training, with courses that will be aligned with South African standards authorities National Qualifications Framework (NQF) levels and registered with the South African Wholesale & Retail Sector Education and Training Authority.

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