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Brick & Mortar / Physical Stores

Brick & Mortar/Physical Stores - Your Retail Coach

Marked by general economic development, expanding demographics, shifting customer behaviour, and the mushrooming of businesses, many countries in the African continent are poised to become some of the biggest retail markets of the decade.

By 2021, the average economic growth in the eastern and southern African countries is anticipated to do better than their central and western counterparts. There are more than 20 African countries that clocked a GDP growth rate of over 5% in 2019. With rising economic growth and activities, customer behaviour associated with the working population also tends to change because of lifestyle changes, rising income levels, and more spending power.

From the perspective of demographic and urbanisation trends, Africa is turning to be the new big destination for business and investment. Two primary drivers for accelerating urbanization in Africa are its fast-growing population and reclassification of areas. However, the rural-urban population stands at a balanced ratio hinting at a huge market potential for brick and mortar retail considering Africa’s population and population growth rate. And increasing life expectancy, TFR above the required level of 2.1%, and a median age of about 20 years put Africa on the tracks of healthy population growth.

Startup funding in Africa has experienced an astounding growth in the last half a decade indicating the optimism and confidence of the investors. And the entry of global retail giants like Carrefour and Wal-Mart itself speaks volumes of Africa’s retail potential.

Challenges in Africa’s Brick and Mortar Retail

Well, everything cannot be hunky-dory. Every market comes with a unique set of challenges. The situation is no different in the brick and mortar retail business sector of Africa; different countries, different challenges. Our brick and mortar retail business consulting services will try to draw a common thread and help you see what challenges you could face in running a retail store business model in Africa.

Lack of infrastructure

The lack of adequate infrastructure poses a serious challenge for businesses in many African countries. Logistical and transportation facilities like roadways, railways, ports, and warehousing solutions play a vital role in ensuring a steady supply of inventory. At a time when brick and mortar retailers are competing with eCommerce, logistical bottlenecks further weigh down their competitiveness and ambitions for business growth expansion. Power supply and distribution is the second big area of concern which further affects the penetration of mobile and internet services.

Rise of eCommerce

For traditional retailers, eCommerce will always be a potential competitive threat until they adopt the online channel as will be recommended by any professional retail sales consultant. The growing appetite for retail eCommerce in many African countries like South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria, only makes things tougher for the conventional brick and mortar retailers there.

Rise of modern retail but lack of professional retail management services

In many African countries, brick and mortar retail is still in its nascent stages. The leap from conventional store-format to departmental stores or supermarkets that could meet the requirements of the modern-day customers’ expectations from physical retail is almost always an uphill task. In the absence of any professional assistance or services of retail brick & mortar business consulting companies, this transformation may appear too ambitious. But one has to bear in mind that there are so many successful retail chain business models and renowned retail chain brands like Pick n Pay, Choppies, SPAR etc. to have emerged from here.

HR Challenges

HR may sound like a completely different ballgame from retail. But retail consulting firms would know that like in any other industry, in retail too, HR requirements need to be seen from the perspective of the retail industry. Few prominent HR challenges for businesses in Africa are in the areas of leadership, recruitment and retention. Authentic and ethical leadership and skilled managerial qualities are highly sought-after attributes. In many countries, there are issues of job scarcity making recruitment an exceedingly voluminous task. For better retention, businesses now also have to focus on providing able leadership, a healthy work environment and work-life balance, more meaningful responsibilities, skill development platforms, etc.

How YRC can help you through its Brick & Mortar Business Consulting Services: a glimpse

In brick and mortar business consulting, we help businessmen and entrepreneurs in their entire journey of setting up their brick and mortar business from market research to business process management. Here’s a glimpse of what we do in brick and mortar or physical stores business consulting.

Determining the feasibility of a business idea or business expansion project is the most fundamental of activities for a businessman or an entrepreneur. YRC experts will guide you at this critical decision-making spot with market research, business plan, and ROI analysis. What we effectively do here is present an assessment of the market with actionable insights and carry out the financial projections and planning.

Turning away a customer or unable to fulfil an order because of poor inventory planning is an undesirable situation for any retailer. The better your inventory planning is, the better will be the availability of goods in your store leading to a better fulfilment rate. Our  Brick and Mortar Retail Business Consultants will ensure that your retail business has a robust inventory plan in place while aiming for better service levels with optimized inventory costs. This will also involve demand forecasting, streamlining of ordering timelines and reorder quantities, etc.

A good layout planning is important for three important reasons – space optimization, the smooth in-store flow of activities, and visual merchandising.  A good store layout is a shout out of a well-planned retail store. It constitutes the most important physical touchpoint. Our expert team of Brick & Mortar Business Consulting will help with planogram, visual merchandising strategy, classification of zones, time and motion study, merchandise planning, store security compliance, and much more.

In maintaining world-class standards and remaining competitive, retail stores need to be exemplary with their operations. From procurement to sales and delivery, every process has to be planned systematically and comprehensively so that there is absolute clarity of what needs to be done, by whom, when, where, and how.  YRC will help you define your business processes with robust SOPs towards making your business a process-driven enterprise.

We understand how effective franchising can be in Africa’s brick and mortar retail market. Our franchise development consultants will assist you in carrying forward your franchise-based business expansion decision from concept to implementation. Our service areas in franchise development include strategy formulation, business plan, SOP manuals, franchise agreements, marketing, and audits.


We are one of the premier boutique retail consulting firms. Our core team comprises retail management consultants with diversified experience and expertise in the field of retail and eCommerce. To know more about our services in retail consulting for brick and mortar businesses or if you have any query, drop us a message and we will get back to you.

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