Algeria flag Algeria: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in Algeria

Evolution of the Sector
Algeria is the 4th largest grocery retail market in Africa, and the second largest in North Africa (Trendtype). Although the distribution market has, for a long time, been the domain of public companies, informal shops now dominate the retail trade sector and Algeria has a fairly well-developed distribution system with mostly wholesale and retail outlets. Despite increasing urbanisation, traditional grocery retailers remain the most popular distribution channel.
Private businesses control the retail trade at 95% (with strong participation of European investments), and grocery stores and small supermarkets are spread out evenly in the country. According to the estimates of Numidis (the retail and distribution arm of Cevital - a major local private sector group), modern retail accounts for only 3% of annual turnover. The modern grocery retail sector is very fragmented. Among international retailers, only the French chain Carrefour is present.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, modern grocery retailers have been focusing on developing supermarkets and minimarkets, which are generally located in neighbourhoods with large populations. The pandemic also accelerated the performance of e-commerce (Euromonitor).
Market share
The Algerian retail sector today is highly fragmented, dominated by a multitude of small, privately owned stores and hard-to-monitor informal vendors. The distribution system is shared between public and private companies. State firms sell mainly wholesale imported foodstuffs, pharmaceutical products and industrial materials, although some private companies are also active in these sectors. In terms of retail trade, the majority of distributors are private companies, namely informal shopkeepers in small shops.
Numidis, known in Algeria by the brand name UNO, is a subsidiary of the Algerian group Cevital, the largest private conglomerate in Algeria, with interests in the agri-food sector, retail, industry and services. There are today 23 UNO stores in the country: 5 hypermarkets, 1 supermarket, 16 motorway services, 1 convenience store (Cevital, latest available data). Due to the high volume of independent modern outlets, Numidis holds a relatively small value share of the market (Euromonitor, 2021).
According to the latest data available by the Algerian Register of Commerce, in 2016 there were 1,415 retail markets in the country, 38 Hypermarkets, 1,919 superette and 232 supermarkets.
Retail Sector Organisations
Algerian Ministry of Trade

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Latest Update: April 2024

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