Ivory Coast flag Ivory Coast: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in the Ivory Coast

Evolution of the Sector
Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire) is dominated by a traditional trade retail base, however, according to the Nielsen 2017 Shopper Trends syndicated report for Ivory Coast, the modern trade arena has seen progressive change in the last two years and holds tremendous potential for growth.  This is spurred on by the expansion of global and local retail brands such as Carrefour, CDCI and Bonprix and a growing consumer appetite for more organised retail outlets, which offer a broader assortment of products as well as competitive pricing and enhanced promotional activities.

Traditional trade is still strong in the minds of Ivorian shoppers; who value the bargaining interaction they have in open markets and the availability of all the products they want in one place. However, the current development of modern trade and a growing middle class is creating a shift towards more formalised shopping experiences.  

Ivory Coast’s outstanding advances in terms of ease of doing business, strong GDP growth, new IPOs, a doubling of the banking sector, low inflation, stable currency and solid infrastructure are some of the drivers that now underpin a developing retail sector that is seeing a rise in branded, modern trade formats. At present, supermarkets account for only a small percentage of urban store numbers, but there is significant growth potential within this channel given that 35% of consumers shop in supermarkets for weekly and monthly pantry restocking, according to the Nielsen 2017 Shopper Trends Report.
Market share
The informal sector dominates large-scale distribution in Côte d'Ivoire and accounts for more than half of the commercial transactions. Nevertheless, the formal distribution sector is growing rapidly. PROSUMA (Ivory Coast Promotion Company of Supermarkets) and CDCI (Distribution Company of Côte d'Ivoire) are the two giants of the distribution sector in the country. The French group Carrefour has been present in the country since 2015, notably by aligning with the French CFAO Retail's strategy, which is accelerating the establishment of shopping centres in Côte d'Ivoire.

The local retail sector is booming, with several players:

  • MataHolding and its brand Cytadia: expanding in inland cities in and some residential neighbourhoods of Abidjan
  • Prosuma and its outlets Jour de Marché and Cash Ivoire
  • CDCI with Leader Price.

The retail sector is experiencing dynamic growth and some of the key players hope to double their number of stores by 2019. The biggest supermarket brands, King Cash, Hayat and Leader Price, have
a niche position in the retail market as they offer almost exclusively imported products at exorbitant prices, which puts them out of reach of the majority of Ivorian households.

Retail Sector Organisations
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ivory Coast
Ministry of Trade
Portal for Foreign Affairs in Cameroon

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Latest Update: April 2024