Mauritania flag Mauritania: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in Mauritania

Evolution of the Sector
Since its second Trade Policy Review (TPR) in 2011, Mauritania has experienced five years of steady economic growth at 5-6% per year, driven by the high world prices for its main export products (chiefly iron ore) and massive public investment in the new airport, the extension of the port of Nouakchott, and road infrastructure. Average per capita income continued its steep rise, reaching close to US$1,500 in 2014. However, unequal distribution of the country's wealth has meant that there has been no significant impact on the overall level of poverty among its population of 4.3 million. According to the United Nations, Mauritania remains a least developed country with low human development indices.

Since 1991, Mauritanian market has been undergoing liberalisation and consequently, imports have grown. Many imported foods are now available, of variable quality according to storage conditions and at a high price. In addition to this, small supermarkets have quickly developed in the capital city and in Nouadhibou. In parallel, some international retailers started implementing modern retail infrastructure, through franchising most of the time
Market share
Imports are controled by wholesalers close to the power circles. The majority of the products is then distributed in small stalls or by sellers established in markets in Nouakchott and other big cities. The informal sector remains very important and involved in the sale of most of the products, from livestock to spare parts. Finally, middle-sized shops and small "supermarkets" are very popular, especially in Nouakchott and Nouadhibou.

Among the biggest supermarkets brands, we can quote:
- ATAC from the french retailer Auchan (in a joint venture with a local business man)
- Eco Marché
- la Générale d'Alimentation
- Le Bon Choix Supermarchés
- Supermarchés Salam

Retail Sector Organisations
Mauritania Ministry of Economy

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Latest Update: April 2024

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