South African retailer Woolworths has confirmed it plans to expand its presence in Sub-Saharan Africa by more than doubling its store numbers on the continent. The move comes in response to Walmart’s African market entry in June.

Woolworths spokesman John Fraser said: “We are now getting very serious about Africa expansion and we want to see a significant acceleration. We are looking at moving from 46 stores to 104 by June 30, 2014.”

The retailer recently built a joint venture – now the preferred model for international expansion – in Tanzania and Uganda, and aims to open three new stores in these East African countries by the end of June 2012.