How will Walmart shake up the South African market?
After previous failures in Germany and South Korea, Walmart has taken a more strategic and conservative approach to international expansion. With the exception of India, market entries in the past nine years have primarily been infill acquisitions throughout Latin America. Today, Walmart is present in 15 countries around the globe. Its focus in recent times has been on turning around its struggling domestic business which has suffered from seven consecutive quarters of comparable store sales declines. Yet, looking ahead, international will be a key driver for both top and bottom line growth and although there is plenty of room for growth in existing markets such as China, Brazil and India, Walmart will continue to evaluate promising new markets.
Walmart announced its intent to enter the Sub-Saharan African retail landscape through the acquisition of Massmart, the second-largest distributor of consumer goods on the African continent, in 2010.
This Executive Opinion will:
- Explore what attracted Walmart to the geographically isolated but quickly emerging South African retail market;
- Identify the key ways in which Walmart will change the market, from pricing to format development; and
- Provide both South African retailers and suppliers with recommendations as to how best to prepare for the US giant's entry.
Natalie Berg Global Research Director
Natalie Berg is the Global Research Director and jointly heads up the Research Team with Robert Gregory in London. Natalie has been analysing global trends in the food sector since 2003 and specialises in Walmart, Tesco and Carrefour. She is a sought-after speaker at industry events throughout Europe and the US and frequently features in print and broadcast media. Natalie's areas of expertise include retail globalisation, private label trends and channel strategies. She holds a Bachelor of Science in international business from the University of Connecticut and studied at Ecole Supérieure de Commerce in Grenoble, France.