A review of the latest Forbes rich-list, which names the 40 wealthiest citizens in Africa, not only reveals 10 new business people added to the list, but also indicates that Africa is a burgeoning well of prospects and a place of continued business growth.
Economies in Africa are growing and becoming more recognised, with Zambia recently reporting a 7.3% growth in 2012 and Nigeria receiving its first credit rating from Moody’s agency in November 2012, along with Zambia and Kenya. This presents ample growth opportunities for retail, especially luxury brands, which have been typically slow to expand in Africa.
Many high-end brands have seen falling sales in Europe compared to previous years and need to regain their presence by exploring new markets; ones that are perhaps out of their comfort zone.
Shopping malls and urban dwellings are being developed at a rapid pace in Africa, in spite of many indigent areas in the region, offering high-end labels a real opportunity to set up in a formal retail space.
While these brands have been criticised for snubbing Africa by failing to opening stores, Canadian-based footwear and apparel brand Aldo, has recently opened a store in a new mall in Gabarone, Botswana, perhaps setting the trend for more luxury brands to follow.
With a number of African economies seeing a spike in disposable income and greater access to mobile internet through smartphones, many countries in this region are poised for growth.
These economies certainly present promising ventures and a healthy optimism for luxury brands, especially those operating in the sluggish economies of Europe.
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