Tag Archives: informal retail

Competitive Advantage & Customer Relationships: Lessons from Market Mummies of Ghana

By | August 29, 2018

How would you differentiate yourself in this informal retail market? Ghanaian market research guru Gerry van Dyke took a closer look at the market ‘mummies’ – Mama Biashara, as we call her – and their consumer marketing techniques in the “non-label environment”. His findings form an excellent foundation for understanding marketing and customer relationships in… Read More »

Snapshot of the Dynamics of the Urban Informal Retail Trade in Nairobi, Kenya

By | January 27, 2017

Latiff Cherono quickly made up this diagram during a brainstorming session with Francis Hook and myself on the ways and means to further disaggregate the general category of “Informal wholesale and retail trade” that the Kenya National Statistics Board uses to lump together the second largest sector providing employment in Kenya after agriculture. In urban… Read More »

Implicit Assumptions commonly held about Informal Markets

By | January 21, 2017

“Informal Economy” always means illegal, shadowy, gray. High volume of low value cash transactions imply poverty, ignorance, lack of sophisticated money management. Operating with a lack of infrastructure and institutions implies ignorance, lack of ambitions and aspirations, and motivation. Lack of cash implies lack of purchasing power – particularly in rural settings. Lack of formal… Read More »

Research Question: Why is the informal retail sector so persistent and resilient?

By | August 31, 2016

Retailing in India is currently estimated to be a USD 200 billion industry, of which organised retailing makes up 3% or USD 6.4 billion. By 2010, organized retail is projected to reach USD 23 billion and in terms of market share it is expected to rise by 20 to 25%. (Sinha et all, 2007) These… Read More »

Japan’s Indian Strategy for the African Consumer Market

By | August 22, 2016

One of the most high-profile events Kenya has hosted since independence begins this week when heads of state from across Africa and the Prime Minister of Japan Mr Shinzo Abe jet in for the Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD). It will be the first time that Ticad has been held outside Japan and… Read More »

The hidden cost of doing business #informaleconomy

By | February 4, 2016

This looks like its a low cost business operation with low barriers to entry. All you need to do is find a decent tree under which to display your wares. The reality is that these entrepreneurs have numerous fees and costs that they must pay in order to do business, regardless of how informal it… Read More »

What marketing 101 can teach development practitioners and academics

By | January 24, 2016

The entire universe of people with an unmet need that you expect your solution to fulfill is not your target audience. The fundamentals of market analysis include the basic calculations that allow marketing managers of all stripes to calculate (guesstimate) their potential market size, and thus a realistic assessment of its value. That is their… Read More »

Purchasing Patterns in Cash Based Markets and Informal Economy

By | July 18, 2015

When cash flow is irregular and not always unpredictable, both in amount and frequency, such as it is for the majority earning a living in the informal economy, buyer behavior is not quite the same as for mainstream consumers with access to credit cards and regular paychecks. I’ve quite often made reference to how operating primarily… Read More »

Breaking bulk and profiting at the margins

By | July 17, 2015

Michael sent me this information from Nairobi last week. He’d spotted informal retail within the context of a mini-supermarket – known as traditional trade in the jargon of consumer product distribution and retail. He adds, “So 500 ml of Rina cooking oil retails for 120KES, 1 litre for 195 KES. What the owner of this… Read More »

Introducing Mama Biashara

By | April 29, 2015

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) released a women’s report with some eye opening figures. Simply put, African women lead the world in being their own boss. Mama Biashara’s business activities may perhaps be more driven by livelihood need and few alternatives but she’s not sitting around looking for a handout either. Pillar of the informal… Read More »