These are the two main factors in what the Grocery Retail Market Inquiry report, released on Monday, referred to as “a shifting competitive environment since the end of apartheid”.
“On the one hand, spaza shops have seen the entry of national retail chains into township areas and on the other, township trading has seen the entry of immigrant community retailers,” said the report .
Competition Commission chairperson Tembinkosi Bonakele said: “Spaza shops that are owned by foreign nationals tend to out compete local owners of spaza shops.”
The report found that: “The tight knit nature of immigrant communities has enabled them to co-operate collectively to bulk purchase and distribute more efficiently and raise credit for new stores. Their trading experience gained in their less concentrated and corporatised retail home markets has also stood in good stead in competing against local small and independent retailers.”