Africa is becoming increasingly attractive to retailers


27 November 2014

African-focused trading firm CFAO Group has created a “club of brands” – a network of international brands – that will target the rising African middle class.


The first members of the club are toy seller La Grande Recre (Ludendo), cosmetics brand L’Occitane en Provence, Beaumanoir’s fashion brands Cache Cache and Bonobo, and Kaporal.


CFAO will operate the sales outlets of these new partners in Africa under exclusive agreements that include franchises, brand and distribution concessions, and distribution agreements.


The club will ultimately include about 20 brands. The retailers will have outlets in CFAO’s shopping centres in eight African countries: Cameroon, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. L’Occitane won’t be available in Senegal.


The launch of this club of brands coincides with the opening of CFAO’s first mall in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, in 2015.


High growth market

“CFAO acts as a catalyst for the development of international brands in Africa and as a springboard for brands that view the continent as a real growth lever. With our experience and our approach to consumption in Africa, we give them access to a high growth market,” said Xavier Desjobert, the chief executive of CFAO Retail.


Jean-Michel Grunberg, president of Ludendo, said: “This franchise agreement bolsters La Grande Recre’s international presence. Our expertise in toys and the strength of our brand concept are key in satisfying Africa’s new consumption needs.”

The African middle class is expanding rapidly on the back of strong economic growth. According to the International Monetary Fund, seven of the 10 countries that will experience the strongest growth between 2011 and 2015 are in Africa.


In sectors related to services and consumption, revenue on the continent is expected to increase by between 4% and 5% per year by 2020, according to McKinsey, while the number of households bringing home annual revenue of more than $5 000 is likely to rise to 130-million compared with 85-million today.


First five members


    • La Grande Recre is a market-leading brand with 255 stores in France and elsewhere. Its concept is based on a quality range of toys and games.


    • L’Occitane group has 2 715 sales outlets worldwide. It is a natural and organic ingredient cosmetics and well-being products manufacturer and retailer with roots in Provence, France.


    • Beaumanoir group, which has more than 2 700 sales outlets worldwide, is pursuing its international development strategy through a “multistore concept” which sees several brands housed under one roof, such as fashion brands Cache Cache and Bonobo.


    • Kaporal was created in 2004 in the home of Marseille denim. It is known for its daring and creative clothing range.


  • CFAO, a subsidiary of Toyota Tshusho, the Toyota Group trading arm, is Africa’s biggest supplier of cars, trucks and pharmaceuticals. It has operations in 37 countries, including 34 in Africa.


SAinfo reporter and CFAO Group