World Retail Voice Blog Post
Interview with Dr. Al-noor Rawjee, Chairman, ADC
How would you define the current momentum of the retail sector in Mozambique?
The market has been buoyant as shoppers move away from traditional shopping formats toward more developed consumer offerings. Consumers are also becoming aspirational in their views toward products offerings and service. It should be noted that more than 80% of the population is Bottom of the Pyramid – and this speaks to the levels of penetration/saturation as well as opportunity.
The African markets are mostly dominated by importation. Can the retail sector be a booster for national production?
Absolutely – in my experience with Pick n Pay Mozambique, the focus was on developing domestic capacity to reduce pressure on logistics (large stock holding), finance (due to large stock holdings), etc. by driving local business to procure agency /distribution agreements with suppliers in South Africa. In addition, we also supported the development of local Agro-industry in order to substitute imports.
In terms of retail, where do you see the most promising opportunities: food or non-food retail?
The market for food is currently saturated and product offerings are becoming more and more commoditized. Non-food retail and services growth will drive retail expansion.
How do you see the retail market in Africa and in Mozambique in the next five years?
The question around development in Africa and in specific Mozambique, is not supply side. For Africa to truly develop, the short term focus must be on bridging the gap between rich poor, aimed at a strong Middle Class enabled to drive consumer demand across sectors. SMME’s and Service Industry shall lead development in Africa, by way of Entrepreneurship and Education. Both are needed and both are fundamental to long-term African sustainability.