Senegal flag Senegal: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in Senegal

Evolution of the Sector
Senegal is regarded as one of the most stable countries in Africa and although it suffers from poverty levels of more than 46%, it is the second-fastest growing economy in West Africa. Strong demographic growth and rapid urbanisation in recent years have transformed the food economy from subsistence farming to one where 45% of its population now lives in cities. The informal sector, which includes thousands of small independent shops, kiosks and traditional open-air markets dominates, accounting for as much as 80% of food wholesale and retail activity.

The wholesale and retail food industry was estimated to be worth around US$3.0bn or 20% of the country’s GDP of US$14.24bn in 2016. Currently the formal sector, which is dominated by hypermarkets and conventional supermarkets – most of them from foreign brands such as the leader Auchan Retail and Casino - situated mostly in Dakar, make up an estimated 2% of the food retail sector. This is expected to increase as the economy improves and the level of urbanization continues to rise. Role players believe the resulting growing urbanized middle class will increase demand for the convenience and variety offered by formal retail and supermarkets.
Market share
Senegal has a high number of expatriates and the number of high-income consumers has continued to increase. This has contributed to a greater demand for high value-added products (HVP). Strong population growth (2.25% - CIA World Factbook, 2021 est.) and urbanisation (3.73% - CIA World Factbook, 2015-20 est.) indicate that this trend will continue. Casino, a well-established French mass retailer, offers a wider range of products, including some products of American origin. Another supermarket chain, CityDia, a subsidiary of the French group Carrefour, has opened several stores in Dakar as well as convenience stores at Total petrol stations. Atac, a French supermarket chain, mainly distributes French brand products. Since 2016, Auchan, a French hypermarket chain, has opened many retail stores in Dakar.
Nevertheless, the informal sector and independent grocery stores continue to dominate the Senegalese mass retail market.
Retail Sector Organisations
National Association of the Consumers in Senegal
National Association of the retailers and industrials in Senegal
Ministry of Trade of Senegal
Senegal Chamber of Commerce

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Latest Update: May 2024

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