Posted by: APO | 8 September 2015

Retail potential on African continent confirmed

Retail potential on African continent confirmed

  • AT Kearney’s 2nd African Retail Development Index reconfirmed the continent’s retail potential
  • Gabon (#1), Botswana (#2) and Angola (#3) in particular provide retailers with diverse options for retail expansion
  • Nigeria drops from #2 to #4 it is still a market to consider, while Tanzania leads the pack in East Africa

JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, September 8, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ The 2015 African Retail Development Index has been released today (  that reveals the most attractive developing markets across Africa for expansion. It discusses the growth in the middle class in Africa, increased consumerism, the spread of malls, land being taken up for development for retail purposes and Sub-Sahara’s young and connected middle class that is growing fast and still deciding on its favourite brands.

Download the report:


The report reveals :

•         The African Retail Landscape – what the retail market in SSA looks like today

•         ARDI 2015 ranking incl. South Africa’s ranking and the opportunities for its retailers in the rest of SSA

•         Right Approaches to Africa – which countries provide the best opportunities and how does this link to retail maturity stages?

With Sub-Saharan African brimming with potential being one of the few markets with annual GDP growth of more than 5%.  AT Kearney’s 2015 African Retail Development Index (ARDI) reconfirms the potential of many nations throughout Africa—not just oft-discussed markets like Nigeria and Ghana, but also small, dynamic markets such as Gabon, the ARDI’s top-ranked market and home to Sub-Saharan Africa’s highest GDP per capita, and also mid-sized and fast-growing countries such as third-ranked Angola.

The report begins with a look at entry strategies for Sub-Saharan  Africa, followed by an in-depth analysis of the top 14 countries.

The authors are available this week to share their views of the report & insights on:

•         The outlook for the retail sector for 2015/2016

•         South Africa’s retail sector vs other emerging markets such as India, Brazil, etc

The 2015 ARDI ranks the top 15 Africa countries according to market attractiveness for retail expansion. The ARDI is a useful framework for retailers because it not only identifies the markets in Africa most attractive for retail expansion today, but those that offer the most potential.

The Index identifies three distinct differences in stages of retail advancement in the Top 15 countries—basic, developing, and mature—with only Southern Africa falling into the mature bracket. They are characterized by having a formal shopping culture, international and growing private label exposure, innovation, and stable and transparent pricing. In this market, the key purchase drivers are convenience and quality.

Mirko Warschun, AT Kearney partner and leader of the firm’s consumer industries and retail practice for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (, noted that Nigeria (#4) moved down the index, despite its market size and room for growth. “Nigeria has massive room for growth in formal retail with 25 new shopping centres in development,” said Warschun. “True spending, however, remains comparatively low as the ‘true middle class’ is a lot smaller relative to the smaller countries ranked higher.”

With its tremendous potential and strong economic projections, however, Nigeria is still a market to consider.

While Tanzania (#5) has dropped a notch, it was the largest and most stable of the East African Community countries and remained an attractive retail market said Warschun. “Tanzania is in the early stages of development, and therein lies the opportunity,” he said. “This unsaturated market has one of Africa’s fastest growing retail sectors, boosted by new shopping malls.”

Bart Van Dijk, AT Kearney partner and leader of the firm’s consumer industries and retail practice in Africa, said that it was instructive to think of Africa as a set of opportunities that can be augmented and added onto one another, rather than just one singular opportunity. “How you pick among the opportunities depends on your offering,” he said. “Retailers with a basic offering should target the large cities and countries because scale will be important, while retailers with a wider assortment should target higher average income countries including the smaller ones.”

The ARDI is based on four dimensions: market size, market saturation, country risk, and time pressure, and ranks the potential and urgency of moving into each country accordingly.

2015 ARDI Results (see chart)

The ARDI’s top 15 highlights some interesting developments. Two small countries—Gabon and Botswana—are ranked first and second, while Ethiopia, with Africa’s second largest population, barely cracks the top 15. The ARDI report includes a summary of all 15 countries in the Index, recommendations for the Cash and Carry retail model, and commentary on the opportunity presented by the East African Community—Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda.

The report also provides entry strategy recommendations for each stage—Basic, Developing, and Mature.

Mike Moriarty, AT Kearney partner and leader of the firm’s Global Consumer Institute, concluded, “Success in Africa requires analysis, understanding, and the flexibility to customize, but for those willing to take the risk, the rewards are plentiful.”

Download the table ‘The 2015 African Retail Development Index Ranking and Segmentation’:

For a copy of the full report go to:

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of A.T. Kearney (Pty) Ltd.


Nicole Chamberlin

HWB Communications

+27 (0)21 421 0430

+27 (0)79 192 0105

About the Authors:

Marieke Witjes (+27 63 309 7802 )– Her ability to recognize and realize change, both from a market and consumer perspective as well as an organization and employee angle, she’s been A.T. Kearney for over 7 years working on strategic assignment across industries. She is a member of A.T. Kearney’s global strategy practice, focusing mainly in consumer driven industries. Prior to this, she obtained a master’s degree in international economics and worked in India and Uganda. She has always been passionate about emerging economies and growth opportunities, explaining her move from the Netherlands to South Africa.

Jaco Prinsloo (+27 83 980 2614) is a principal with A.T. Kearney who has more than 12 years of consulting and industry experience in consumer goods. He focusses on rapid operational improvement, post-merger integration and turnarounds for private equity and corporate clients. His work experience spans Europe, Asia and Africa. Recent emphasis has been on supporting growth in Africa through a combination of market entry strategies, route to market configurations and new factory developments. Prior to joining A.T. Kearney he managed the supply chain for a large European consumer goods company and drove their performance to world class.

About the Study

The Africa Retail Development Index ranks Sub-Saharan Africa countries on a 0-to-100 point scale: the higher the ranking, the higher the potential and urgency to enter the country. The countries considered for the rankings were pre-selected based on three criteria – a country risk of 35 or higher in the Euro money country-risk score, population size greater than 1.5 million, and GDP per capita (PPP) of more than $1,000. The ARDI scores are based on Country and Business Risk (25 percent), Market Size (25 percent), Market Saturation (25 percent), and Time Pressure (25 percent).

About AT Kearney

A.T. Kearney ( is a leading global management-consulting firm with offices in more than 40 countries. Since 1926, we have been trusted advisors to the world’s foremost organizations. A.T. Kearney is a partner-owned firm, committed to helping clients achieve immediate impact and growing advantage on their most mission-critical issues. For more information, visit

About the A.T. Kearney Global Consumer Institute

The A.T. Kearney Global Consumer Institute is a worldwide network of professionals and executives. The Institute combines proprietary and public data resources with local knowledge to deliver strategic and operational insights to executives in consumer-facing industries seeking long-term growth and competitive advantage. For more information, please contact


A.T. Kearney (Pty) Ltd


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