Distribution Networks in Tunisia

Overview by Globlatrade.net:

Types of Outlet

Hypermarkets, supermarkets and mini-markets
Located on the outskirts of the town center. They sell food and non-food products. Mini-markets, being smaller, are located in town.
Magasin Général

Evolution of the Retail Sector

Growth and Regulation
Over the last few years, the modern distribution sector has seen in-depth development. In five years, three new international names have penetrated the market (Carrefour, Champion and Géant) bringing about substantial changes in consumer behaviour. The emergence of hypermarkets, a new concept in full expansion in Tunisia, has undoubtedly contributed a lot to this.

In spite of the notable changes that the distribution sector has seen over the last few years, especially with the spread of supermarkets and the opening of hypermarkets, the market share of organized distribution is barely 12%. The sector remains dominated by the retail trade which is the essential element of the distribution circuit, especially in foodstuffs.
Market Shares
Tunisian purchasing power declines as soon as you leave Tunis. That is why traditional small shopkeepers remain essential: they are often the only stores open in the provinces, with a wide range of choice of goods. Outside the provinces, mass marketing is gaining ground and was counted among the main actors in 2007. With a turnover of around 800M TND, the modern distribution sector makes 2% of GDP, a level which is far from that in European countries (23%).
In spite of the unquestionable evolution of the distribution landscape in Tunisia (with an average annual growth rate of 15% over the last four years), the sector presents a substantial growth potential.

At the present time, the organized distribution sector in Tunisia hinges on three main actors:
- The Mabrouk Group, the owner of Monoprix since 1999. This group has rapidly set up an expansion strategy, both internal and external. In particular the group bought out the Touta chain in 2003 then bought the main outlets of the chain "Le passage". At the same time, the group went into partnership with the French group Casino, which allowed it to set up in the hypermarket segment (Géant). With a market share estimated at 36%, the Mabrouk Group, under all its names, is the leader in the sector.
- The Chaibi Group, which began in the hypermarket segment (Carrefour) and is growing in the supermarket segment under the name of Champion. The group recently bought out the Bonprix supermarket chain, which brings the estimated market share of the group to 31%.
- The public Magasin Général, which remains the leading supermarket chain in terms of number of outlets (43), with a turnover of 152.2M TND, below that of Monoprix. This firm, which has been put on the list of companies to be privatized, could see substantial growth once it is controlled by private investors, favoring the emergence of a third important actor in the sector. It seems probable that the authorities will favor this scenario ( a third actor) rather than a take-over by one of the other two actors.
Finally, let us note that Promogro (13% of market share) is a rather different case as it is positioned on the "wholesale-retail" market.

Organizations in the Retail Sector
Ministry of Trade

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