Growing Appetite For Organised Retail In Ivory Coast

Growing Appetite For Organised Retail In Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire) is dominated by a traditional trade retail base, however, the Nielsen 2017 Shopper Trends syndicated report for Ivory Coast shows that 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, as per the study conducted in Abidjan. 


Another reason for the growth of the supermarket channel is that these shoppers are highly price aware. 42% know the price of most items and always notice when the price changes and 37% said they don’t know all the prices but generally notice when the price changes.  Ivorians are therefore the perfect audience for visible, clearly labelled prices on products, shelves and websites which are synonymous with the modern trade environment.

Shoppers are also store loyal, given that 46% stated that they seldom change stores but actively look for promotions at the stores they’re in. This bodes well for retailers who can leverage off existing shopper loyalty and offer enhanced promotions to drive incremental sales.


Another interesting finding is that 82% of supermarket shoppers say they “enjoy doing the grocery shopping”. To capitalise on this mindset, retailers should look to optimise the shopping experience via organised store layouts, innovative merchandising and stand out promotional displays. In addition, shopper engagement is key complemented by personalised customer service.  

Ivorian consumers’ also carefully consider their choices prior to purchase, with 88% saying they usually plan what to buy before they shop for groceries and 77% stating they work according to a strict budget. Despite this 63%, admit to buying additional items which shows they’re open to unplanned or impulse buying. 


Despite the uptake in modern trade; the reality is that independent traditional outlets like kiosks, open markets and convenience stores still dominate, with high penetration and frequent shopping trips. Currently the convenience and open market stores, account for two thirds of consumer packaged goods sales and are shopped multiple times per week.  

Independent trade outlets are significant and will continue to play a vital role in the day to day lives of Ivorian shoppers.  Modern trade retailers can learn a lot from these outlets which have successfully served shoppers for hundreds of years.

Focused promotions together with in-store advice and assistance, are logical means for modern trade retailers to bring brands to life and enhance the shopping experience for Ivorian shoppers. 

For additional information on Nielsen Ivory Coast Shopper Trends 2017 report, click here.