Accra mall in Ghana

Types of businesses in the capital of Ghana, Accra

There are 5 main types of businesses in Accra.

Micro retail

This type of business is run from a small space, usually a table top, placed in house fronts or along street kerbs. Traders usually sell low priced items  costing a few cedis. Its basically a convenience shop for passersby. It is easy to set up. Funds are usually derived from the owners personal savings.

Retail informal

This kind of work involves a medium sized storage facility. Goods sold are usually non perishable and the owner keeps an immovable structure. Items on sale cost some tens of Ghana cedis. An example of this business are seen at open shed markets such as the Circle pedestrian mall.

Retail formal

Here comes the purpose built shops such as Melcom stores.  They are owned by companies. Items on sale cost few hundred cedis to thousands.


This category of business includes the malls.  These stores are mega traders with large floor space and expensive merchandise. They have late closing hours and are departmentalized.   They are owned by conglomerates


Wholesalers specialize in their offerings and are usually located outside city. The wholesale business is capital intensive. Goods sold require carting.


Distributors number most in the food and beverages domain. They have a network of transport for coordinated and timely delivery.


The warehousers do mot necessarily own their merchandise. Most premises are rented by importers for storage purposes. These buildings abound around the industrial areas and business centers in Ghana.

Goods sold

Goods sold in Accra are primary merchandise. Its quite common for grocery items and personal consumables to dominate.


Trade in Accra is conducted in Ghana cedis. Foreigners are required to convert their home country currency to local. Its against the law to charge or pay in foreign money.

Customer profile

Buyers are mostly city dwellers. They range from students , to working class to migrants. Most active shopping times are late evenings and weekends. Side walks are a popular purchase points for low to medium income earners whilst the upper class visit the malls.

Foreigners in business

Foreigners ttade along locals in Accra. In Ghana, there are legal restrictions on type and volume of business for foreigners. Where allowed, you would find African nationals from Nigeria, Niger, Togo, Mali mostly who perform limited retail trading.

Europeans and Americans are also found but mostly work in the capital and service sectors.