Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, health protocols had to be implemented altering the shopping experience of Ethiopians. The use of masks and social distancing among consumers and staff were strictly enforced in stores.
Ethiopia faced major setbacks because of widespread COVID-19 cases and the political unrest that led to war in the Tigray region during the review period. Major cities and factories in the Tigray region stopped operations or faced restrictions, making the region practically economically stagnant.
With an estimated 117 million people, Ethiopia is the second most populated country in Africa. Population growth remained at 3% in 2021 over the previous year, with around four births per women.
Ethiopia generally experienced a slight economic growth in 2021 despite the impact of COVID-19 and the war in the Tigray region. Moreover, the outlook for the Ethiopian economy is broadly positive.
Despite ongoing improvements, Ethiopia’s travel infrastructure remains underdeveloped. Private ownership of cars and motorcycles is low, while public transport is largely limited to buses and taxis.
In Ethiopia, most wholesalers are located in open markets where most informal traders operate. Typically, when goods are cleared through customs, they are immediately directed to wholesalers located in regional towns.
While a slight decline will be experienced due to the adverse effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war, it is expected that current sales value in retailing will recover and grow over the forecast period. Population increase, rising urbanisation rates, and increasing disposable incomes will be the main drivers of growth.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Retailing industry in Ethiopia with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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Sales of new and used goods to the general public for personal or household consumption. Excludes specialist retailers of motor vehicles, motorcycles, vehicle parts, fuel. Also excludes foodservice, rental and hire and wholesale industries (Cash and Carry). Sales value excluding or including VAT/Sales Tax. Retailing is the aggregation of Store-based retailing and Non-store retailing. Retailing excludes the informal retail sector. Informal retailing is retail trade which is not declared to the tax authorities. Informal retailing encompasses (a) sales generated by unregistered and unlicensed retailers, ie retailers operating illegally, and (b) any proportion of sales generated by a registered and licensed retailer which is not declared to the tax authorities. Unregistered and unlicensed retailers operate predominantly (although not exclusively) as street hawkers or operate open market stalls, as these channels are harder for the authorities to monitor than permanent outlets. Activities in the illegal market, which is usually understood to refer to trade in illegal, counterfeit or stolen merchandise, are included within our definition of informal retailing. Activities in the “grey market”, which is usually understood to refer to trade in legal merchandise that is sold through unauthorized channels – for example cigarettes bought legally in another country, legally imported, but sold at lower prices than in authorized channels – will be included as informal retailing if no tax is paid on sale by the retailer. However if the retailer pays tax – for example on cigarettes bought legally in another country but sold at a lower price than standard – the sale is included within formal retailing. In relation to click and collect purchases (i.e. where purchases are made over the internet but picked up at store) where the sales data is attributed depends on where the payment is made: If payment is made in store, then the sale is included in store-based sales. If payment is made over the internet, then the sale is included in internet retailing.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Retailing research and analysis database.
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