A.T. Kearney's 2015 African Retail Development Index released

According to A.T. Kearney's 2015 African Retail Development Index (ARDI), retail markets show promise not only in larger markets such as Nigeria and Ghana, but also in smaller markets like Gabon and Angola.

The ARDI is a list ranking the 15 top countries in Africa with regard to attractiveness for retail expansion.

"It might be most instructive to think of Africa as a set of opportunities that can be augmented and added onto one another, rather than just one singular opportunity," Bart Van Dijk, A.T. Kearney partner and leader of the firm's consumer industries and retail practice in Africa, said. "How you pick among the opportunities depends on your offering. Retailers with a basic offering should target the large cities and countries because scale will be important, while retailers with a wider offering should target emerging markets."

The ARDI takes into consideration market size, market saturation and the country's business risk and time pressure.

"If scale is not your biggest worry, Africa's mature markets — in the ARDI, they include Botswana, Namibia and South Africa — remain solid points of entry, with established shopping cultures, relatively high wealth levels, and well-established infrastructure," Mirko Warschun, A.T. Kearney partner and leader of the firm's consumer industries and retail practice for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said. "In these markets, it is important to bring a differentiated retail concept."

The countries ranked in the index fall into three main stages: basic, developing and mature. The report also provides entry-strategy recommendations for each stage.

"Success in Africa requires analysis, understanding, and the flexibility to customize, but for those willing to take the risk, the rewards are plentiful," Mike Moriarty, A.T. Kearney partner and leader of the firm's Global Consumer Institute, said.

A.T. Kearney is a leading global management consulting firm with offices in more than 40 countries. For more information, visit www.atkearney.com.

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