Ghana has been ranked first in Africa and fourth in the world in the 2019 Global Retail Development Index which studies the global retailing landscape.
The country has also been described as Africa’s new “bright spot” driven by increased foreign and public investment as well as urbanisation of the population.
Ghana’s retail sector, according to the study, is valued currently at $24.4 billion and is expected to reach $33.16 billion by 2024.
The report also revealed that department stores and shopping store space is set to grow by 15 per cent per year and many international retailers are taking notice.
As one of the most stable nations in sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana presents both retail opportunities and cautionary flags.
China has assumed the first position; India has dropped to the second position while Malaysia maintains the third positions in the bi-annual study.
Senegal ranks seventh; Morocco, 12th; Tunisia, 25th; Egypt comes 26th, Tanzania and Nigeria at 28th and 30th respectively.
Ghana’s economy expected to grow by nearly 8.8 per cent in 2019 and backed by a thriving oil and gas sector makes it the fastest growing economy in the world this year.
The country increased foreign and public investment by 14.2 per cent (of GDP) in 2018, a number expected to rise to 30.8 per cent by 2028.
Moreover, the government announced 10 measures this year to support a range of other improvements, from online tax filing to automated delivery of electricity.
It has also been identified that urbanisation will be a major driver for modern retailing, which is expected to reach $33.16 billion by 2024.
Online retailers reshape markets quite differently from country to country.
Informal retailing dominates now, but the landscape is changing.
An abundance of small neighbourhood shops offering low-income consumers value-for-money goods still dominate the highly fragmented retail market.
In Ghana, retailing in small stalls in open markets still dominates, although independent small grocers are also popular.
Space in department and variety stores is targeted to grow by 15 per cent through 2023.
More international retailers view Ghana as the next go-to-market.
Sporting goods retailer Decathlon opened a store in Ghana in 2017 which is its largest in West Africa and hopes to expand with 50 more stores across the country.
The bi-annual study of the global retailing landscape also revealed that South African retailers Pick’nPay and Massmart Holdings are expanding into African retail markets, particularly Ghana.
The international supermarket chain Pick & Pay plans to open a store this year, and Massmart has opened three outlets since 2017. There are new shopping malls, primarily in big cities such as Sekondi-Takoradi, Accra and Kumasi.
While just 38 per cent of Ghanaians have internet access, most are from the middle class, so e-commerce opportunities exist.
In April 2019, DHL launched DHL Africa eShop, an app that brings 200-plus US and UK online retailers to shoppers in 11 African countries, including Ghana.