Liquor stores experienced upheaval in terms of restrictions in 2021 as the Beta and Delta variants of COVID-19 led to new waves of infections. For instance, the National Coronavirus Council reinstated a total ban on alcohol in January and February 2021, lifted restrictions in March and April, limited trade to Monday-Thursday, from 10:00hrs to 20:00hrs between from 16-27 June, then reinstated a complete ban between 28 June and 25 July.
In agreement with the Competition Tribunal, Pick ‘n’ Pay announced that the group will stop enforcing exclusive lease agreements from 31 December 2026. However, as of June 2021, the company allowed grocery retailers historically owned by disadvantaged groups to operate next to its stores across urban and peripheral areas.
An increasing number of local and international investors have been encouraging emerging Fintech players, aiming to close the gap in financial inclusion by supporting small and medium businesses. In line with this trend, Fintech Yoco, which manages a network of over 150,000 businesses including small independent grocery retailers, raised USD83 million in series C funding in 2021 to improve the penetration of affordable payment and loan facilities.
Liquor stores are expected to fully recover over the forecast period due to a further easing of restrictions and changes in government policy in the fight against the pandemic. For instance, in December 2021, the country was no longer subject to trade restrictions in alcohol despite the emergence of the Omicron variant driving a fourth wave of infections.
Traditional grocery retailers will remain the largest retailing channel in terms of outlet numbers in South Africa, supported by its proliferation across low- and mid-income consumers. Nevertheless, the operating system is likely to be transformed by digitalisation, with small independent outlets already introducing WhatsApp ordering during the review period to meet the increased demand for convenience.
As the south African grocery retailing landscape matures, leading players will continue to tap into townships to gain additional share. The trend will lead to a continual influx of container stores, with Shoprite taking a step further by increasing the number of U-Save mobile container truck formats.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Traditional Grocery Retailers industry in South Africa with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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Traditional grocery retailing is the aggregation of those channels that are invariably non-chained and are, therefore, owned by families and/or run on an individual basis. For Euromonitor traditional grocery retailing is the aggregation of three channels: Independent Small Grocers, Food/Drink/Tobacco Specialists and Other Grocery Retailers. While there can be modern (i.e. chained) food/drink/tobacco specialists or other grocery retailers, due to the store's presence in the channel, these stores are still considered as traditional for Euromonitor International.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Traditional Grocery Retailers research and analysis database.
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