The post-COVID-19 retail landscapes

Perceptions of Small and Medium Size Retailers in South Africa

Keywords: mall and medium retailers, Struggles, opportunities, informal sector


This paper offer insight to the substantial role of the small and medium retailers (S&M) and how Covid-19 has impacted the sector. The economic contribution of this group of retailers have been noted to be high. Policy measures of the government of South Africa in response to the pandemic was severe on the informal retailers who were stopped from operating their businesses. The paper highlighted the internal and external struggles and opportunities of the retailers. There is the need to revalue the sector according to its contribution to the society, assist the retailers to improve on their infrastructure, formalise their practises, embark on reform programmes aimed at improving their capacities.


Download data is not yet available.


Abi Younes, G., Ayoubi, C., Ballester, O., Cristelli, G., de Rassenfosse, G., Foray, D., Gaulé, P., Pellegrino, G., van den Heuvel, M., Webster, E., & Zhou, L. (2020). COVID-19: Insights from innovation economists. Science and Public Policy. Retrieved from: [Accessed 11 March 2021].

Barrett, J. (2020) South Africa’s informal sector in the time of COVID-19. Priorities for mass employment and inclusion. Retrieved from: (Centre for Development Enterprise).

Boatemaa, S., Barney, M., Drimie, S., Harper, J., Korsten, L., & Pereira, L. (2019). Awakening from the listeriosis crisis: Food safety challenges, practices, and governance in the food retail sector in South Africa. Food Control, 104, 333-342.

Bolton, R. N., & Shankar, V. (2018). Emerging retailer pricing trends and practices. In Handbook of research on retailing. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Crush, J., & Si, Z. (2020). COVID-19 containment and food security in the Global South. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 9(4), 1-3.

Del Rio, C., & Malani, P. N. (2020). COVID-19—new insights on a rapidly changing epidemic. Jama, 323(14), 1339-1340.

Grewal, R., Chandrashekaran, M., & Citrin, A. V. (2010). Customer satisfaction heterogeneity and shareholder value. Journal of Marketing Research, 47(4), 612-626.

Hand, L. (2020) Covid-19 Retail Industry impact, GVP, Retail Hospitality and Financial insights. IDC Tech Buyer Presentation. Retrieved from: [Accessed 11 March 2021].

Howe, S. (1992), Retailing Management, London: Springer.

Jere, M., Jere, A., & Aspeling, J. (2015). A study of small, medium, and micro-sized enterprise (smme) business owner and stakeholder perceptions of barriers and enablers in the South African retail sector. Journal of Governance and Regulation, 4(4).

Mahadea, D., & Zogli, L. K. J. (2018). Constraints to growth in informal sector activities and formalisation: A case study of Ghanaian slums. The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, 10(1), 1-9.

Muriithi, S. (2017). African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) contributions, challenges, and solutions. European journal of research and reflection in management science, 5(1), 36-48.

Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2020) The importance and specificities of the retail sector: Covid-19 and the retail sector. Impact and policy responses. Retrieved from: [Accessed 11 March 2021].

Shipalana, P., & O’ Riordan, A. (2020). Impact of Covid-19 on Financial Stability in Africa. African perspectives global insights. Occasional paper 311. South African Institute of International Affairs.

Wegerif, M. C. (2020). Informal” food traders and food security: experiences from the Covid-19 response in South Africa. Food Security, 12(4), 797-800.

Wereda, W., & Woźniak, J. (2019). Building relationships with customer 4.0 in the era of marketing 4.0: the case study of innovative enterprises in Poland. Social Sciences, 8(6), 177.

Zhong, T., Si, Z., Crush, J., Scott, S., & Huang, X. (2019). Achieving urban food security through a hybrid public-private food provisioning system: the case of Nanjing, China. Food Security, 11(5), 1071-1086.

How to Cite
Abe, I., & Mugobo, V. (2021). The post-COVID-19 retail landscapes: Perceptions of Small and Medium Size Retailers in South Africa. Harvard Deusto Business Research, 10(2), 337-345.