Defying the odds?

The Big Retail Massacre In Kenya Has A Lone Survivor

By  |  March 4, 2021

This 2021, Amazon is the most valuable retail brand in the world, doing situps on a USD 254 Bn value. Retailing is so huge that a retired Jeff Bezos could reclaim the richman title from the still-in-business Tesla boss in just a couple of months. 

Musk and Bezos seem to agree on one thing, though: it’s not yet time to do business in Africa. Neither the South African’s space travel outfit (Space X) nor his electric car ambitions has been replicated back in the motherland. Amazon, too, hasn’t yet brought the proper retail game to the continent.

Maybe it’s because expanding to the region is no walk in an African park. Retail in Africa is valuable, capable of generating more than USD 500 Bn in sales in 2018 alone. 

But there’s a problem. 

For the continent's retail, the countries holding up the sky are South Africa, Egypt, Algeria and Morocco. East Africa is the odd one out, particularly, Kenya. Operating in this East African country's retail market seems to always end up at the cart-before-the-horse crossroad. It’s hard enough for ShopRite, Africa’s largest retailer, to call it quits on the Kenyan market about a year ago.

It’s the same problem that foun...

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