Ghana flag Ghana: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in Ghana

Evolution of the Sector
Ghana's retailing industry is more developed than most other countries in West and Sub-Saharan Africa and has grown steadily thanks to a continuous economic growth. Ghana's first shopping mall opened in Accra in 2008 and it remains one of the most modern shopping centres in West Africa to this day. Owing to the country's relatively small geography and dense population, distributor networks are divided more equally than in most other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nevertheless, distribution and retailing industries are not as developed in the less populous and wealthy north as in the south, particularly the southeast, which has bigger and wealthier cities.

Ghana's inflation edged down throughout 2018, and food and non-alcoholic drink price index rose at its slowest since 1992, which supported retail growth in 2018 (Bank of Ghana, Oxford Business Group). Nevertheless, Ghana's Ministry of Trade and Industry published a public notice in July 2018, threatening to take legal action against all non-Ghanaians who sell goods and services in markets or in stalls. This decision, which is believed to target Chinese retailers in particular, could hamper the growth of the informal sector, which accounts for more than 90% of all retail transactions in Ghana (Deloitte).
Market share
While the informal market dominates the retailing industry with small and local merchants, international companies, particularly South African or Pan-African brands are also present in the country. South African mass retailers and supermarkets such as Massmart, Shoprite, Edcon and Woolworths have stores in the country whereas Famous Brands, Africa's largest branded food service franchiser, entered the market in 2017.
The food distribution sector in Ghana has experienced impressive growth recently. In terms of retail food outlets, supermarkets account for 4% of the industry whereas convenience stores represent 36% and traditional markets the remaining 60% (USDA, latest data available). Traditional markets retain their dominant position as importers and distributors prefer doing business with buyers from these markets who tend to make instant payment for deliveries. Hotels, restaurants and industries also tend to get their supplies from traditional markets.
Retail Sector Organisations
Ministry of Trade and Investment (MOTI)
Ghana National Chamber of Commerce&Industry

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Latest Update: April 2024