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The growth of consumerism in Africa

| Africa

Consumerism in Africa is growing at a rapid rate. Africa Inc speaks to Shoprite’s CEO Whitey Basson about what the continent’s largest food retailer is doing to gain market share and also looks at how informal trade still has a place in the retail sector, while online shopping grows in popularity.

The African Development Bank expects Africa’s middle class to grow by 1-billion by 2060 and it is this section of the population that is expected to drive consumerism.

Shoprite, Africa’s largest retailer, plans to open more stores in Nigeria, Angola and Zambia.

Basson told Business Day that the rest of its African operations “have now surpassed the total business of some of our local competitors”.

He explains how the company is cashing in on retail and a consumer goods market that is growing rapidly.


Jason McCormick, managing director of McCormick Property Development, says the company is looking to provide retailers with the space to take advantage of the growth in consumerism in Africa.

He says the trend in South Africa’s townships and developing areas is a move towards bigger, fancier malls as income levels and aspirations of consumers increase. In the rest of Africa however, the company has noticed a decrease in the size of malls as commodity rich economies face a slow down.

he company has 26 shopping malls in South Africa and is working on seven developments in five African countries.


As Africa’s millionaires continue to grow at a faster rate than the rest of the world, Dion Chang, CEO of Flux Trends, says the problem with the steady growth of African millionaires is that these individuals buy European luxury goods and can afford to travel to Europe to buy them.

He says Africa should be focusing on pioneering African luxury goods which are unique to the continent but also speak to a European market.

Chang explains the strategy that luxury retailers are employing to target African consumers.


• Africa Inc airs on Business Day TV channel 412


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