Conflict between Supermarkets and Wet-Markets in Ghana: Early Warning Signals and Preventive Policy Recommendations




Ghana, Market tensions, Supermarkets, Wet-markets, Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test


The source of conflict between Supermarkets and Wet-markets arise from the use of market power and economies of scale by one group against the other. This study explores the tensions that exist between modern retailers and their traditional counterparts as a result of the influx of supermarkets in Ghana. The main objective of the study is to compare attributes related to the control of access to consumers by the Supermarket and the Wet-market. In this study, the dot-survey approach of Rapid Market Assessment Technique was used to elicit information from 438 respondents at the Madina market (wet-market) and Melcom (supermarket) over a period of two weeks and Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney (WMW) comparison test and descriptive statistics were employed for the analysis. The results revealed that consumers patronise the supermarkets for convenience and the wet-market for freshness of product. Their purchasing decisions were affected by their level of education and product selections of the retailer. The highly educated preferred to shop at the Supermarket instead of the Wet-market; however, over 50% of respondents preferred the wet-market for fresh food products and the supermarket for non-food items. Each retailer receives its fair share of purchases from its loyal customers, therefore the revolution arising from the supermarket influx in Ghana has not yet resulted into conflict between supermarkets and their traditional counterparts, though it is inevitable if nothing is done to prevent it from happening. To avoid the conflict, it is recommended that policies should be instituted to (i) improve the market infrastructures and shopping environment in the Wet-markets, (ii) give tax concession to modern retailers who source products from local farmers and small-scale processors, (iii) enable traditional retailers position themselves on the fringe and co-exist with modern retailers and (iv) enforce public standards with regards to food safety laws in the traditional markets.

Author Biographies

  • Etornam Kosi Anku, Ho Technical University





  • Gerald Kojo Ahorbo, Ho Technical University






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