VENTURES AFRICA â€“ A research recently published by Barclays Bank UK has revealed South Africa, Ghana, and Kenya as the top three most preferred African countries for British retail businesses planning to expand.
According to Ghana Business News, 18 percent of the retailers surveyed identified South Africa as their first choice among African countries they could expand operations.
â€œGhana and Kenya were the second and third choices with 6 percent and 4 percent respectively,â€ Barclays Bank said.
The sampled British retailers indicated â€œAfricaâ€™s burgeoning middle class followed by the take up of mobile technologyâ€ as the reason for their interest in the continent.
Richard Lowe, Head of Retail & Wholesale at Barclays, said â€œMany of the trends which have driven the economic development of emerging economies in Asia and South America are beginning to take hold in Africa. Its rapidly expanding middle class increasingly need goods and services which cannot be catered for domestically, providing a golden opportunity for internationally-minded retailers. This is a truly â€˜ground floorâ€™ moment in many African economies.â€
The acquisition of South Africa-based Massmart, Africaâ€™s largest wholesaler, by American giant Walmart, proves the seriousness with which global retailers are now taking the continent.
The report by Barclays Bank stated: â€œNearly a quarter of retailers surveyed stated that Africa will be the new retail growth story within a decade, with first mover advantage (33 percent) considered to be the most important consideration when expanding.â€
The research showed that only 21 percent of retailers interviewed said they currently generate sales on the continent, adding â€œof those which do, more than half (53 percent) say South Africa is their top market.â€
It also listed Chad, Congo, Morocco and Nigeria, as other African markets which currently provide revenues for British retailers.