This past Monday, it was reported that Wal-mart will enter the African market through the purchase of Massmart, a leading South African retailer with 290 stores in 13 countries on the continent.
This is not a total shock, as rumours have been swirling for a while now about Wal-mart’s move into the African market.
In a lot of ways the step makes a lot of sense – Africa is home to 1 billion consumers and buying an established player gives Wal-mart local expertise and a big head start on its other international rivals.
South Africa is a relatively stable marketplace from which to start an African operation and the experience that Wal-mart has gained in emerging markets in Asia and South America will help them hit the road running.
Wal-mart has made a few mistakes when expanding internationally (in Germany, for example) and those mistakes are not likely to be replicated.
Both CPG retailers and CPG suppliers have been turning their attention to Africa as growth has slowed in the emerging markets from Eastern Europe to Asia.
Have you ever wanted to live in South Africa? If you have experience working as a KAM on the Wal-mart account there is likely a long list of CPG companies in South Africa who would love to tap into your experience.
Great wine, safaris, adventure sports and diving with sharks. Could be a lot of fun!