Africa's consumers demand modern retail formats
Compiled by Galetti Knight Frank
Africa’s vast, young and increasingly wealthy population
gives the continent a demographic advantage that few other
parts of the world will be able to match over the coming
decades, according to Knight Frank’s Africa Report
The growth of Africa’s dynamic consumer markets is
creating great demand for modern retail formats and western-style
shopping centres. But, are the opportunities sufficiently
compelling for International investors and developers, given
the continent’s diverse challenges?
Having averaged GDP growth of more than 5% per annum over
the last decade, Africa’s economic expansion is creating
wealthier populations, particularly in the largest and most
rapidly growing urban centres. Africa’s major cities,
such as Lagos, Nairobi, Accra, Lusaka and Dar es Salaam
are increasingly becoming the drivers of the continent’s
The urban middle class is growing across much of the
continent and city dwellers generally earn more and spend
more than their rural counterparts. In fact as a clear
indication of Africa’s growing wealth, the World
Bank now classifies 27 of Africa’s 54 nations as
either mid- or high-income countries, 12 more than was
the case in the year 2000.
Countries such as Zambia, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria have
seen a wave of retail construction activity in recent
years, which has delivered the first generation of modern
shopping malls to many major cities.
Elsewhere, there are a number of countries where modern
shopping malls are a relatively new phenomenon; The Palms
in Lekki, Lagos, regarded as Nigeria’s first modern
shopping centre was opened in 2006, while Accra Mall,
the first of its type in Ghana, opened in 2008.
Several very large modern shopping malls have been opened
in North African countries in recent years, such as the
Mall of Arabia in Cairo (180,000 square metres GLA) and
Morocco Mall in Casablanca (70,000 square metres GLA).
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