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How to Start a Supermarket in Nigeria: Everything You Need to Know


In this post today you will learn how to start a supermarket here in Nigeria:

Attract visibility

Get tons of customers

And profits.

Let’s move into it.


  • Supermarket business explained
  • [11] steps of starting and running a supermarket
  • Conclusion

Chapter 1: Supermarket Business Explained

A supermarket is a self-service store where you can buy different kinds of groceries, products, and household goods.

These items are well organized into sections in an appealing way for the customers to easily find the products they need.

Being a self-service store, customers are free to move around and pick what they want, and head over to the cashier section for payment.

Nowadays in Nigeria, many people prefer to shop in supermarkets because they easily get most of the things they need.

Supermarkets give their customers different payment options, this means you can pay with cash or electronically unlike the traditional market style of payment (cash).

The business is profitable and capital intensive, but being a self-service style of the market the cost of running is reduced greatly on the part of the owners.

Chapter 2: 11 Steps of Starting and Running a Supermarket

Let’s discuss the steps of starting a supermarket and running it successfully. The steps include the following:

1: Planning

No one wakes up and starts a business without first knowing what is involved:

  • Knowledge
  • Capital to start the business

To start this business you need to carry out a feasibility study to know opportunities and threats in it. You have to study the market, ask questions if possible, and find out from supermarket owners the nature of the business.

This feasibility study will give you insights into the market, your competitors, pricing, and help you come up with plans on how to be on top in the business.

All these will be stated in your business plan that has details of your mode of operation and plans of growing the business. The next thing you have to do is to register the business with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

2: Capital

We stated in the previous chapter that running a supermarket is capital intensive. This means you need a lot of money to venture into the business and this can run into millions depending on your location.

And if you don’t have the capital, you need to seek funding with your business plan. You can approach the Bank of Industry (BOI) or any commercial bank for loans, and seek investors that will be willing to invest.

You can raise the capital with your savings, possibly sell any of your assets, or through the help of family and friends.

You need money for rent, furnishing and setting up the store, buying of goods and equipment, and money to run the business. However, bear in mind that the amount depends on your location.

3: Location

The location plays a huge role in the success and failure of your business. It won’t be sensible that you open a supermarket in a rural area, the people won’t afford it.

So your supermarket has to be located in a busy place within an urban or suburban area for your potential customers to access easily.

Also, choose an area that has a reasonable power supply to minimize the rate of buying fuel.

4: Build Your Store

You have identified the location, it’s time to rent a space. After you must have rented the space, it’s time to furnish the supermarket with goods arranged on shelves for customers to find easily.

Use tags to direct people to different sections of the supermarket and remember to create space for easy movement by the customers.

Cooling systems (air conditioners and fans) must be installed in the supermarket for the comfort of the customers and staff.

The place must be burglary proof to prevent theft and firearms must be installed in case of any fire outbreak.

The layout of your supermarket must be designed in a way that every section is interconnected to each other.

5: Warehouse

This business requires buying goods in big quantities and that’s where the usefulness of a warehouse comes into play.

It’s a place where you will store your goods for the restocking of already sold goods in the supermarket. This place can only be accessed by an authorized member of the staff, that’s the warehouse manager.

The warehouse manager must keep the place secured and inform you or the manager when the warehouse needs to restock too.

6: Human Resource

You need people to run the business successfully and they include:

  • General manager: He/she is in charge of the staff coordination and the smooth running of the business.
  • Cashiers/accountants: Their duties are to handle sales and receive payment. They have to be smart, tech-savvy, and proactive.
  • Sales personnel: Their work is to move goods from the warehouse, arrange them on the shelves, and guide customers on how to find products they need.
  • Security personnel: Their job is to secure lives and properties. Also, they help direct customers on where to park their cars.
  • Warehouse manager: He/she manages the house and makes sure that stocks are taken.

Others include cleansers and drivers.

7: Equipment needed for the business

  • Generators: You need generators to ensure that counting machines, cooling systems, refrigerators, surveillance cameras are constantly working.
  • Computer systems and automated cash register: To ensure proper accounting and issuance of receipts to the customers.
  • Refrigerators: To store items like drinks, chocolate, yogurt, ice cream, etc.
  • Shopping basket/cart/trolley: Customers use them to carry their goods to the point of payment.
  • Surveillance camera: This is to reduce any form of pilfering from buyers or any member of the staff.

8: Products

You need to know different sources where to buy your products. It’s important to build relationships with importers, marketers, distributors, and wholesalers.

Also, know that you can import some goods by yourself as a mini importer.

You must be good in negotiation to be able to get good commodities at cheap prices. Some of the products to sell include:

  • Clothes and accessories
  • Beverages and drinks
  • Flowers and decoration products
  • Books
  • Baby care products and cream
  • Computer systems and phones
  • Home appliances
  • Pharmaceutical items, etc.

9: Tools for inventory

You need software to track your inventory that will help in discovering fast-selling products, monitor sold products, and ones that need replacement.

To achieve this, you need computers fitted with a barcode scanner and inventory scanner (e.g Inflow, Odoo, etc.) This will help register products automatically into the system through scanning them.

10: Payment

Every payment should be made at the counter where customers will receive a receipt that confirms their payment. Each of the products must be scanned to process the transactions which will update the inventory list.

Also, you can employ a marketing strategy by placing some items like cookies, chocolates, toys, etc at the counter to boost sales.

This strategy works all the time because customers while queuing on the line will see what they like and add it to their cart.

11: Marketing

To stand out from your competitors, you need to master the art of marketing. Marketing will create more awareness for your business.

I recommend the following strategies:

  • Get customized bags to package products with your business name, address, phone number, and website printed on them.
  • Distribute flyers around the environment.
  • Get an e-commerce website where people can buy products online and have them delivered to their doorsteps.
  • Offer excellent customer services and sell quality products.


Having exposed the steps of starting a supermarket in Nigeria. You now have what it takes to run the business and make money.

However, you have to understand no business was built in a day. You need to be consistent with it to make your business a profitable one.

Let me hear your thoughts on starting a supermarket in the comment section.

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