Retail Attracting Interest
Following dollarisation in 2009, retail in Zimbabwe has come back strongly, with shelves filling up and consumer spending returning to some degree of normality after shoppers mostly relied on the black market for groceries during the hyperinflation years. The era preceding dollarisation wreaked havoc on retail, as citizens had to look to other means to stock up on groceries. Things have improved over the past few years, as Zimbabweans have been able to return to re-stocked food retailers .
Netherlands-based Spar is the leading retailer in Zimbabwe, and competes with domestic players TM and OK Zimbabwe . W e estimate formal food retail stores account for about 25% of sales in Zimbabwe . To provide some context, this compares with about 5% in Kenya, which is considered to be among the region's most developed organised retail markets after South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. Mass grocery retailers such as South Africa's Pick 'n' Pay are believed to be keen to increase their exposure to Zimbabwe.
Unlike South Africa's other major retailer, Shoprite , which seems like it is being more cautious about its plans for Zimbabwe, Pick 'n' Pay is far less diversified across Africa. Given that Pick 'n' Pay now owns 49% of TM, it is better positioned to expand in the country than Shoprite. With Shoprite only running one store in Zimbabwe and likely to be more occupied with markets further afield, such as Nigeria, Pick 'n' Pay has a clear advantage in Zimbabwe , in our view .
|Economy To Drive Retail Growth|
|Zimbabwe - Per Capita GDP (US$)|