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Modern retail on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa, but traditional trade still rules

The Ikeja City Mall in Lagos, Nigeria

This article is a slightly-edited excerpt from Standard Bank’s Africa Consumer Insights Report 2020: Third Edition.

Africa’s modern retail development continues to grow and improve in quality but still lags traditional trade.

A growing population and larger, more developed cities translate into vast opportunities for retail. For example, wholesale and retail are already the third-largest contributor to Nigeria’s GDP while Kenya has seen 54% growth in the number of retail stores over the last five years.

In South Africa, there are almost 2,000 shopping malls. Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa remain the key markets in value terms, while the industry continues to further modernise in promising markets such as Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

Sub-Saharan Africa is made up of a combination of traditional and modern retailing channels. These channels vary by market and are influenced by factors such as the economy, state

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Why new quarantine rules are ‘disastrous’ for the West End

With nonessential retailers now given the green light by the Government to reopen on Monday June 15, one of the UK’s most famous shopping destinations is on the final countdown to getting back to business. In the West End – which incorporates Oxford Street, Regent Street, Bond Street – around 90 per cent of shops are expected to open their doors for the first time since mid-March on Monday morning. 

‘We’re so desperate now to start getting back to some kind of normality,’ says Katie Thomas, Associate Director at New West End Company, which manages London’s biggest shopping district. ‘I completely understand the underlying fears of health and safety. We’ve spent so much time in the lockdown looking at this, which actually is not that long really for bringing in entirely unheard-of measures.’  

Thomas is realistic in acknowledging that next Monday won’t spark a swift return to normality. ‘I think

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