Retail Skills Shortage

June 4, 2012 |

Retail Skills Shortage 300x199 Retail Skills ShortageThe African continent is made up of 54 Countries, and despite the fact that 9 out of the top 10 of the worlds poorest countries are all in Africa, we are facing a dilemma regarding human capital, especially with regards to skills shortage and in particular within the retail sector.

Although Africa is the poorest continent in the world, it is also one of the few emerging markets still left. Due to this situation it is receiving more and more international attention from foreign investors. This coupled with the fact that many international retailers are also starting to reach saturation point in their native countries, they  are looking to Africa and in particular South Africa for growth opportunities.
  • Currently Samsung is on track to meet $10bn target. According to CEO Park Kwang Kee. Samsung is targeting a 100% growth in West, East and Southern Africa.
  • China is now Africa’s largest trading partner. Bilateral trade grew more than 43% to nearly $115bn in 2010.
  • Social media apps are being developed purely for the African consumer, and has already surpassed 60 million users.
  • Africa is currently the fastest growing mobile phone market in the world, dominated by MTN.


Did you know, foreign investors already own in the region of:
 54%                       Woolworths
 60%                       Mr.Price
 70%                       Truworths
 90%                       Massmart


South Africa is already facing a serious shortage in retail skills, and situations where retailers like Shoprite, Mr Price and Truworths, who are planning new stores from Angola to Nigeria, to benefit from rising African wealth is just adding fuel to the fire.
According to a 2010 report by McKinsey, Africa’s swelling middle class may boost household spending by 63% to $1,4-trillion by 2020.
Truworths already have 21 stores throughout Africa, Shoprite, Africa’s largest super-market chain has 123 stores in 15 countries and are looking to spend R1,5bn over the next 3 years on expansion.
To give an example of just one of the many retailers, Shoprite opens more than 50 new shops annually, which creates  jobs and a demand for skills in the sector.
According to CEO Joel Dikgole of the Wholesale and Retail Sector of Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA) states that “More than 42000 store managers will be needed in the next five years to meet demand in the rapidly expanding industry.” – This is in South Africa alone.
For every store manager there are a host of other skilled retail positions required. The question is where are all these skilled individuals going to come from? The wholesale and retail sector already contributes in the region of 15% of our GDP and employees in excess of 25% of our economically active population.
If this situation is not addressed in the present, then we are undoubtedly going to have problems into the future.

Category: Blog

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