Blog: Dean BestBotswana on retail emerging market hit-list

Dean Best | 14 June 2012

Retailers looking to the world's developing economies for the next stage of their growth will see a new entry on an annual barometer of the top 20 emerging markets - the African state of Botswana.

The management consultants at A.T. Kearney have this week published their latest list of the top developing countries for retail investment.

For the second year running, Brazil took the top spot, with Chile at number two, as it was in 2011.

A.T. Kearney ranked China third, up three places on the year. Uruguay was fourth and India fifth, both down one place on a year ago.

Russia, the fourth of the BRIC markets, was the biggest faller in the top 30, sliding from 11 to 26, with A.T. Kearney judging Georgia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Botswana to be more attractive places for retailers to invest.

"Botswana's entry into the ranking is a pre-cursor to steadily developing countries in the Sub-Sahara Africa region that could emerge as favorable retail markets in coming years," A.T. Kearney said.

On Russia, the management consultants said "the challenges of doing business" in the country were "well documented" but it still had positive comments to make about the country.

"While Russia may not be an early-opportunity market anymore, it may be entering a phase in which it is compared to established European markets. Near-term growth prospects and market fundamentals appear strong, with retail sales at $600bn per year," it said. "Russia's still-fragmented retail industry - the top five control less than 15% of the market - has led to speculation about when (not if) international retailers not already present will enter, including Carrefour and Tesco.

Those two retail giants, as well as Wal-Mart, appear to have enough on their plate.


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