Retailing in Ghana slowly recovered in 2021. The restrictions imposed by the government at the height of the pandemic led to sales losses but upon the arrival of vaccines and rapid vaccination rate in 2021, the government permitted retail operations to resume.
The arrival of COVID-19 in 2020 prompted the government to impose restrictions and limit retail operations only to those that sell essential goods, such as modern grocery retailers, mixed retailers, and some non-grocery specialists like pharmacies. There were also limitations in retailers’ operating hours in an attempt to minimise face to face transactions within stores.
Like many countries, Ghana struggled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and COVID-19 cases were on the rise in Ghana at the end of the review period. Health authorities specifically fear a third wave as the Delta variant arrived.
Ghana’s population of 31.7 million was mainly comprised of young people in 2021.
COVID-19 restrictions on land borders in some parts of Europe, Africa, and Ghana presented logistical challenges to the movement of goods, affecting the inventory of companies towards the end of the review period. Spar, for instance, relies on cross-border transfer before shipping to Ghana, suffered from expired goods, due to longer duration of the travel of their products.
Informal retailing remains far more popular than formal retailing among consumers. Open markets and street vendors are embedded in Ghanaians' culture, with these forms of retailing being available for centuries and playing a crucial social role as a provider of employment too.
Following the lifting of restrictions on inland borders, and an economy generally bouncing back, sales for informal retailers are also expected to recover.
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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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