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The Wholesale and Retail of Food in Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) is richly endowed with natural resources including petroleum and natural gas but is still recovering from a civil war that lasted ten years and ended in 2011. The country has experienced one of the highest growth rates in Africa in recent years with the economy more than doubling over the past decade to a value of US$36.1bn in 2016. Despite this, an estimated 46% of the population still lives in poverty and the informal sector, which includes local markets, numerous informal kiosks and tabletop sellers, accounts for more than 80% of food wholesale and retail activity.
Opportunities and Challenges
The International Monetary Fund believes the country’s current positive macro-economic outlook is supported by “sustained strong domestic demand” and in the next five years per capita grocery retail spend is expected to increase by 24.6%. Formal retailers, especially Francophone retailers, have stated their intention of taking advantage of the economic recovery, the emergence of a middle class, and a market still characterised by the low penetration of modern retail. Although there has been progress in many respects, the Ivorian business operating environment is still regarded as challenging given regulatory constraints, a shortage of skilled labour and the corruption that exists in the country.
The report on the Wholesale and Retail of Food in Côte d’Ivoire examines current conditions and developments as well as factors that influence the success of the sector. Profiles are provided for four retailers including the largest player, Prosuma which employs approximately 3,600 people in a total of 56 stores situated mainly in densely populated urban areas. Six stores are currently under construction, four in the capital Abidjan, and one wholesale and one retail store situated further inland. Prosuma is also looking to bolster its low-end offering of discount mini-markets, with plans to open new Bonprix and Miniprix stores in small towns across the country.