The scramble for Africa’s on-line retail market is heating up with the entry of French owned Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA, which has said it will extend its Cdiscount e-commerce platform to the continent in partnership with Ballore SA, a freighting company.
According to McKinsey & Co, Africa’s top 18 cities are expected to reach a spending power of $1.3 trillion by the year 2030. This it says is more than double the estimate consumption power of France.
Already African retailers including Massmart – a regional subsidiary of US and world giant Wal-Mart – and Nakumatt – a Kenyan based regional retailer – are working to increase their online presence.
Casino France rival Carrefour SA, based in Boulogne Billancourt, last year turned to Africa for growth by entering in a partnership with distributor CFAO SA to open shops in eight African countries by 2015, starting in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
The Casino-Ballore partnership now joins the rush to capitalize on a growing African middle class with exotic spending habits and are appreciating more the convenience of shopping online.
Bloomberg reported that the partnership’s first branded website will be launched in the summer, but did not give the financial details of the deal.
The two companies said in a statement that they will leverage their growth on “the expertise of the leaders of e-commerce in France and the skills of the logistics leader in Africa.”
Casino, which is following consumers online, said last month it will pool e-commerce assets from Brazil to Vietnam and possibly spin them off in a U.S. stock offering to finance further expansion.
Cdiscount, which opened websites in Colombia, Thailand and Vietnam in the first quarter, sells everything from lingerie to scooters. It had business volumes of $2.1 billion last year, Bloomberg reported.
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