Designing the Last Mile of the Supply Chain in Africa: Firm Expansion and Managerial Inferences from a Grocer Model of Location Decisions

The recent interest in the expansion of retail food chains and the perceived problems resulting from competition between these new, sophisticated supply chains and the most basic of food distribution networks in emerging economies have been greatly debated in the literature. This paper is a seminal approach to examining South-South food firm (grocer) foreign direct investment by incorporating data on the informal market into a facility location decision model. There are unique environmental complexities that developing/transitioning economies present. The unique finding of this model is that informal employment patterns, in both Agricultural and non-Agricultural sectors, influence the firm’s location. Given the absence of data, South-South foreign direct investment managers perceive avid market transactions as indicators of demand and potential supply availability in formal and informal sectors. For example, Pick n’ Pay’s CEO stated recently that their growth in the Southern Africa supermarket business is a direct result of the informal market converting to the formal market.

Braga, Francesco S.
Issue Date:
Feb 15 2008
Publication Type:
Journal Article
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Published in:
International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, 11, 1
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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