Working Paper
The expansion of regional supermarket chains

Implications on suppliers in Botswana and South Africa

This paper explores the effect of the spread of supermarkets on the participation of suppliers in supermarket value chains in Botswana and South Africa. Using secondary data and in-depth interviews with key players in the value chain, the paper evaluates the buyer power of supermarkets evidenced in the negotiation of trading terms.

It further assesses the capabilities and investments required by suppliers to access shelf space and remain competitive. Finally, the paper looks at the role of supermarkets and governments in developing local supplier capabilities and the importance of harmonizing policies across borders.