Broll Property Group has welcomed news of French retailer Carrefour’s entry to the African market to meet the growing retail needs on the continent.
Africa’s scope for investment is steadily increasing and demand for more formal retail options from shoppers is following suit. Carrefour has partnered with distributor CFAO to open shops in eight African countries by 2015.
CFAO, which will own 55% of the venture with Carrefour, aims to generate about EU1 billion, or around R13 billion, in revenue yearly in 10 years from the link-up, and from revenue produced by the shopping malls it plans to construct. CFAO is controlled by Gucci-owner Kering SA. It distributes goods mainly in central and west Africa.
Malcolm Horne, CEO of Broll, says Carrefour has chosen the right time to enter the market.
“Importantly, it has also chosen a strategic partner with experience in distribution channels and a track record of entering emerging markets in Africa,” says Horne. “Carrefour has identified the opportunity that Africa presents and clearly taken a view to position itself in markets with limited choices and huge shopper needs.”
Broll has also gained a rich understanding of the continent from delivering its professional property services across sub-Saharan from eight country offices including Nigeria, Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda, Mauritius, the Indian Ocean territories, Namibia and South Africa.
The first African Carrefour is set to open in 2015 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. From there, it is set to open in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon and Senegal.
Horne says Carrefour’s arrival points to exciting times for the retail market in Africa.
“Carrefour will bring a great alternative offering to the market. The trend of retailers entering new markets will continue to accelerate as Africa develops and demystifies,” says Horne. “Increasing economic participation in African countries has the potential to springboard further growth and positive demand to invest in infrastructure.”
Horne believes the continent is well poised for further development. “Early entrants into this trading space have proved that they can dominate markets and that smaller retailers follow them into these markets,” concludes Horne.