Prices raise push down retail trade


Some of the country’s mega retail shops have attested to having registered reduced sales in recent weeks owing to merchandise price increases registered in the economy.

Top on the list is cooking oil, which, prices have gone up by 48 percent with a two-litre bottle price ranging from K4,200 to K5,200 depending on the shop and the brand from an average K3,500 some four weeks ago.

A five litre bottle is now fetching between K10,500 and K11,600 from K8,000.


Also the recent 22.8 average increase in fuel prices has aggravated the situation, with shops lamenting a corresponding increase in the cost of basic commodities.

In an interview, People’s Trading Centre Chief Executive Officer Ferdinand Mchacha said, on cooking oil alone, the firm has lost 20 percent of sells since the recent price hike.

“The prices have been going up but people’s disposable incomes have not improved so the sales have been affected,” Mchacha said.


In a separate interview, Shoprite Malawi Division Buyer Richard Mankomba said the chain store is struggling with suppliers who have increased charges by between 10 and 15 percent mainly due to fuel price increases.

“On the sales side, we are yet to consolidate figures because we haven’t implemented most of the new prices but we are negotiating with our suppliers to try and see how they can come down a bit on their charges,” Mankomba said.

Such developments have been reflected in recent inflation trends, with revelations that headline inflation averaged 8.7 percent in the first nine months of 2021.

According to statistics from the Reserve Bank of Malawi, this year, inflation was lowest in February at 8.3 percent and it was highest last month at 8.9 percent as it rose by 0.5 percent month-on-month.

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