A.T. Kearney’s 2016 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI),overall in performance, Asia is the regional winner in 2016, with four of the top five countries in the Index — China (#1), India (#2), Malaysia (#3), and Indonesia (#5) due to a combination of large populations and high growth. And E-commerce continues to grow in Asia, rising 35.7% in 2015 to reach $878 billion. Asia is now not only the largest e-commerce market, but it also holds a majority share of global online sales (52.5%).
With regards to India, Mike Moriarty, A.T. Kearney partner and study co-author noted that “India is now the world’s fastest-growing major economy, overtaking China, and retail demand is being fueled by urbanization, an expanding middle class, and more women entering the workforce.”
The region’s massive potential is reflected in the six Sub-Saharan African countries ranked in this year’s GRDI. Opportunities for retailers continue to open up as household incomes rise, countries become urbanized, and the rising middle class embraces organized retail and demands more and better services. However, informal trade still dominates and expanding into the region remains far from easy.
Retailers experience different levels of success in different markets. Nigeria (#19) has a population of 180 million people, but with a challenging business environment and a deeply rooted informal trade market it remains a high risk, high reward bet. South Africa (#27) is big and highly urbanized, but it also has strong local players and a saturated market.