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The South African Food Retail Sector
This report focuses on South Africa's retail food sector, with particular emphasis on the large supermarkets and the major grocery product lines. The retail food sector was worth R400bn in 2014 while the informal market is estimated to be worth a further R150bn. While the formal food retail sector, which includes beverage and tobacco retailing, employs approximately 380,000 people, the informal sector is estimated to employ anywhere between 150,000 and 300,000 people.
Challenges and Opportunities
Generally poor economic conditions, including slow growth and high unemployment have continued to constrain consumer spending while the weakening Rand and concerns relating to electricity have increased costs. In spite of this large retailers have continued to produce positive, though muted, results. As a result of the challenging business environment and high levels of competition, retailers have looked at expansion by increasing the number and size of premises and by offering convenience services, with a focus being placed upon large supermarkets becoming 'one-stop' shopping and service destinations. Convenience has also been the key driver of the expansion of top-up and forecourt shops at service stations around the country. Statistics show that the forecourt convenience store market was worth R14.8bn in 2015, an increase of 13% compared to growth of 6% in the total food retail market.
The South African Food Retail report examines current conditions and key trends in the industry, including the consolidation and market share growth of the largest players, and their commitment to cutting costs through extensive management of their supply chains. The dominant large retailers, Shoprite, Pick ‘n Pay, SPAR, Woolworths and Massmart are profiled, as are four other role players including Fruit and Veg City, which while a relatively small player, has grown rapidly as a force in the retail of fresh produce.