RETAILERS are at the forefront of the African consumer rush. The continent’s rising middle class is proving a boon for investors in search of higher yield as growth in home markets slow.Global giants such as Carrefour and Walmart have made a play, as have South African players, including Truworths, Shoprite and Famous Brands, among others.For those retailers who have been operating in the rest of Africa for a while, what is clear is that the best strategy for the continent is a slow and steady one. Also, with local sourcing and red tape still a major issue, there is a clear advantage in having first-mover status.Apart from Famous Brands, most retailers conclude that corporate owned stores are the route to go. They give them more control than a franchise model does.Some retail players are getting savvier about sites — partnering with South African property developers rather than having to brave the myriad challenges that come with local landlords. Shoprite has earned its stripes as c...

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