How To Start A Supermarket In Nigeria

Every neighbourhood should have a supermarket. This is where people can come and buy some of the most basic things they need at home without going too far.

Items like cleaning detergents, air-fresheners, creams, soaps, breakfast meals, etc can all be purchased from a supermarket. For the fact your’e reading this article, it means you’re interested in starting one.

If that be the case, then follow these simple steps on how to start a supermarket in Nigeria.


  1. Determine The Business Structure And Register It

How would your new supermarket be operated? Is it a one man business or a partnership?

If it’s a sole entrepreneurship structure, then you’d be solely responsible for raising and investing the cash needed to start the business. This also means that you alone would enjoy all the profits the business makes, and incur any losses along the line.

If you took a loan to start the business, you alone would be responsible for repaying.

To make it simple, all assets and liabilities are yours!

If it’s a partnership, then the risks would be shared, as you and your partner(s) would be responsible for raising the funds needed to run the business. This also means you would share the profits according to agreements, and split the losses as well.

After you have settled on a business structure, the next step would be to register your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). This certifies your supermarket as a legally operating business in Nigeria. It also protects your business name from being used by someone else.

  1. Determine Your Budget

In all honesty, there are supermarkets, and there are mega stores. The latter is basically a supermarket that operates on a much larger scale. The finances you have at your disposal will determine how large or small your supermarket will be.

This is why the first thing you need to do before setting up your supermarket is to draw up your budget. You don’t want to start a project you wouldn’t be able to finish.

To create a budget that fits into your finances, you will have to do some research first. This would involve knowing how much it would cost to rent a space, the cost of the fittings you would need to display your goods, the kind of goods you’ll be selling, how many workers you will need, how much their monthly salaries would be, and so on.

After you ascertain the monies involved, you would know if you have enough funds to go into the business or not.

  1. Find The Right Location

This is an important step in setting up your supermarket in Nigeria. As I have said before, every neighborhood should have a supermarket, so you can expect one or two to be around your area already.

This is not to say there’s no room for competition. As long as business exists, there will always be competition and you can jump into the mix.

Nonetheless, you should find a location where the competition isn’t well established. This will give your new supermarket a good chance of staying afloat within the first few months of operation, and thriving in the long term.

If you set up in a street that has one or more supermarkets, then you’d be competing against businesses that have already snatched up the customers in that specific area.

In your search for the right place, be sure to compare prices and go for the best possible space that fits your budget. The place you settle for should have functional amenities, as you wouldn’t want to spend any extra cash fixing this and that after you have opened your business.

  1. Pay For The Space

Now that you’ve found the right spot, you can pay for the space. Most landlords will ask for a minimum of one year rent, but if you can squeeze out the extra cash, it would be wise to pay for two to four years at a go.

This may seem like a risk, being that it’s a new business and you don’t know how things would pan out along the line. However, you can save yourself from the possibility of a rent increase in the coming years if you’ve already made your payments.

Another advantage of paying rent in the long stretch is that you can use that period to concentrate solely on the growth of the business, instead of being clouded by the thought of upcoming rent every 365 days.

If this works for you, then make the move!

  1. Do The Necessary Indoor Construction And Buy The Things You Would Need

A supermarket is a store that should have a wide variety of goods on display. This means you would need shelves and counters to place your goods.

You would need a carpenter to build the necessary woodworks, and an electrician to do the proper lighting.

Make sure the shelves and counters are spacious enough to take all the goods you have for sale. Keep in mind that the goods should also be divided into classes, so your customers would know what shelves to turn to when they are in search of a type of product.

Don’t place detergents on the same shelves as snacks, and don’t place toiletries on the same shelves as packaged food. You get the point.

During construction, do not forget to buy a cash register for easy storage of money. A computer can also help you with quick and easy calculations, as well as knowing prices for every single item.

  1. Employ Staff And Start Selling

The size of your supermarket will determine the number of workers you need. If it’s a small scale supermarket, then you can employ just one person to help you out.

If you’re not ready to pay salaries, then you can run it on your own for the first few months or a year. At least until you have learned the business and can afford to pay salaries.


So guys, that’s how to start a supermarket in Nigeria. Follow the steps listed here and learn the business along the way.

Good luck!



Ohi Ozoya
Ohi Ozoya is the Founder at Leadbooks, a provider of bookkeeping, tax and advisory services to small and medium size companies.

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