Survival Strategies Adopted By Small –Scale Retail Outlets In Nigeria

Survival Strategies Adopted By Small –Scale Retail Outlets In Nigeria: (A Case Study Of Eastern Shop, Ogui Road Enugu)

Survival Strategies Adopted By Small –Scale Retail Outlets In Nigeria: (A Case Study Of Eastern Shop, Ogui Road Enugu)
Strategies are an integrated programme, which an organization employs in order to achieve her objectives or the overall response of a local organization to the demand of her environment. Every organization must as a matter of necessity have a strategy either consciously or unconsciously formulated.

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There are a good number of strategies a small –scale business can choose. The first is market retention, which involve maintaining and extending their activities in established market, through product line and adoption. There is bound to be balancing strategy when the organisation attempted to balance cost and revenue.

The third is market development strategy, which occurs when a firm concentrated on market development tailored to the need of need of new market while at the same time attempting to expand business in existing market.

However, the risks involved are greater then for the first two strategies described above. But well managed companies with good track records will usually be adopting this strategy in the fulfillment of corporate objectives for growth and improvement in business standard as well as encouragement of improved profitability in the entire enterprise.

These components provide us with the idea of the opportunity set a company and how the company can perform her activities in the environment in order to achieve his objectives.


In 1986, the federal Government of Nigeria introduced the structural adjustment programme (SAP) since then, the Nigerian business environment has experienced a drastic change. Many small-scale industries have emerged and closed up as a result of the pursuit of structural adjustment programme objective.

However, it is a well known fact that measures of security enjoyed by government departments does not extend to private centers operating under(SAP) face products also affects some retail outlets, since the production of similar products are not possible may be due to lack of capital to import the needed machinery most of the people who are used to the product now diverts to other available ones while most retail outlets may not recognized the shift due to lack of knowledge of marketing research. The marketing research on the market environment is the cause of failure of most store owners. Within the Enugu urban the story is not different except for some well established supermarkets. They survive through the application of some sales and marketing strategies such as discount, gift, product line etc.


This study seeks to generate empirical knowledge about the survival strategies adopted by small scale retail outlets in Enugu. Specifically, the study is aimed at identifying the following.

1, the major problems that pose a threat to the survival of small scale firms in Nigeria.

2. The growth vector of small scale retail outlets.

3. The effects type of location and relocation of stores.

4. To identify the type of incentive adopted by these outlets.

5. To initiate the owner of small scale business outlets to the use of discounts, product line and diversification


The scope of this research is mainly on some of the retail shops within Enugu urban these shops are selected from ogui road (Eastern shop Enugu) the study of these shops also covers other communities in Enugu urban for it seems to be a well and special are aim Enugu where greater outlet are located. In the course of undertaking the study, the researcher observed certain limitations to the study, such as lack finance, lack of business knowledge interest pursuance and time factor among other problems associated with growth and development of small scale retail outlets in Nigeria.


Considering the service of small scale outlets to their consumers, it becomes important and virtually imperative for the survival strategies to be clearly spelled for the existing and in tending owners. It is the need for the study to make a viable and purposeful rectification, so as to clearly identify the impact of survival strategies for small scale firms that should be in decision relating to establishment.

This study is targeted at mapping out effective strategies for the up lifted of small scale outlets through consumers satisfaction. There is also the need for the study to arouse consciousness to the benefit of professional markets in our business organizations. The resultant finding and recommendation will contribute and lead to a more effective decision making by owners/managers of small- scale shopping centers toward continued existence and successful operation. It can equally provide a useful guide for prospective owners of small scale outlets who may wish to choose self –employment as a career, particularly in a depressed economy like ours (Nigeria) Nigeria as a nation is blessed with so many industries and academic institutions whose service to the nation would forever remain invaluable. These industries are charged with the responsibilities of producing good of high qualities and standards at a very reduced and affordable cost for the citizenry. Goods in this respect become so vital that no result could be achieved without a good distribution network. At this instant, the retail outlets must have a cleat set of strategies to satisfy the consumers and achieve its set goal of survival. The researcher is faced with the problems of investigating how small scale retail outlets use discount, location and relocation, product line, cool structure margin and diversification to accommodate market changes and as a means of survival.


Strategies provide a business organisation the concept its business activities hence, what is on business. The logic of the importance of strategies well formulated is that every business has strategies either conscious or unconsciously formulated. This is why stoner (1982) defined organization over its overall response of a business organization over its environment. Objectives tell us how to get there. According to Ausoff (1965-p 73) goods strategy has four major components. There are:

1. Competitive advantage: An organisation is said to have competitive advantage over business. When it has workable strategies, which aid the upliftment of business activities in the midst of its competitors.

Iii product market strategy: this is principle aim of any business organisation in the effective and efficient market of a particular product. This strategy is aimed at improving the sale of the production question many business entities adopt different product market strategies depending on the environment they do carryout their business activities as well as the nature of their competitors.

iv. Synopsis: this represents other advantages got from a good business strategy. A part from the advantages of good business strategy well carried out elucidated in the first chapter of this write up, there are other advantages, which were not written too numerous to mention. The proper understanding of business strategies by business managers goes a very long way to achieving the proper, effective and efficient to achieving the proper, effective and efficient upliftment of business organization in question.

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Other programmes of the federal government which have been of immense aid to the entire populace are:

FEP: which means free education programme the federal government and some state government have adopted this measure to curb the rate at which illiteracy. This rising in the country. Since the inception of the programme, many people who would have not had the opportunity to attain qualitative education have taken the advantage of FEP to get themselves free from the bondage of illiteracy. This programme has equally the growth of business activities to a greater degree since the money people have spent in education is greatly enhanced.

At the other hand the family and poverty all aviation programme. To be candid, since the inception many poverty programme in the country many poverty alleviation programme in the country many poverty ravaged citizens have been up small scale business organisation to a very great and has equally improved the living standard of out inhabit.



Almost every large co-operation began as a small business for instance, from the history of eastern shop ogui road Enugu, it started as a small shop in the mid 1970s but to day, it has expended into one of the biggest sales outlets in Enugu urban. Eastern shops success really proves that the dream of developing a success small business can be realized.

There is no commonly agreed definition of what constitutes small scale business according to onwuchekwa (1993:157) there are two a profound in literature. There are quantitative and qualitative approaches in the united states of America, the small business is one which is dependently owned and operated and not dominant in its fields of operation. The American center for Economic (CED) uses qualitative standard for the definition of small scale business organization according to the center. A small business organization is characterized by at least two of the following features.

i independent management: usually the managers are the owners.

ii. Capital is supplied and an individual or a group holds ownership.

iii. The area of operation is mainly local workers and owners are from one home community markets need not local however.

According to Nzelibe (1990:46) there has been no conscious among researchers and practitioners on what constitutes a small scale firm is characterized by at least two of the following.

i. Ownership management is usually vested in the same individual that is the management is not independent and the managers are usually the owners.

ii. The business controls only a small share of the market.

iii. Capitals made available by the owner and policy decision are in the hands of the individual or small group of entrepreneurs.

iv. The area of operation is localized and workers concentrated in the local community actually some have branches in their towns but most such branches sere as depots.

v. The owners participate very actively in all decision marking on a day to day operational bases with a high degree right control according to Nzelibe (1990:46) the official definition of a small scale business in Nigeria is flexible a broad, the Nigerian bank for industries (NCB) defines small scale business as firm or companies with assets (including working capital but excluding land) not exceeding N750, 000 and paid employees of up to 50 in number. The federal ministry of industries and industrial development committee (IDCC) prior to structural development adjustments programmes and autonomous foreign exchange market defined small scale business as any manufacturing during process or business as any manufacturing during process or service industry with capital investment of not more than N150,000 though had been in plant and machinery no lower limit was prescribed which would seen to suggest that the definition embrace conventional distribution business including the enterprise of self employed, artisans and roadside mechanics. The national directorate of employment (NDE) defines projects which employments are as few as three persons from notes above array of definitions. It would be notes that emphasis was on initial capital outlay, sales volumes assets and number of objectives.


According to Schewe (1987:53) retailing includes all activities associated with selling goods and services to ultimate consumers.

In the case of retailing activities of retailers one might say the bulk start here since the sale of product at retail begins the movement of payments back through the member of the channel that is the position to understand the specific wants and needs of the markets that derive the entire distribution and production systems.

The retailing is the business functions involving selling of good to customers. According to udegha and okeke (1993:115) it incorporate and also rendering services to them. retailing entails selling good to customers.

Any other channel member, manufacture or as a business institution that performs retailing functions for the purpose of this research researcher admitted the business institutions that perform retailing functions, what quantities is the performance of some important marketing functions necessary to sell goods services to ultimate consumers. The functions have been identified by Baker 1979:96).

1. The physical movement and storage of goods

ii. The transfer of goods title

iii. The provision of information concerning the nature and use of goods.

iv. The standardization grading final processing of goods.

v. The provision of ready availability

vi. The assumption of risk concerning the precise nature and extent of demand

vii. The financial on inventory and the extension performance of retailing function completes he process of moving products from points of production to points of consumption. Erring the goods and service produced to the final consumers and make it as convenient as possible for the consumer to acquire them. Retailing can be classified along with a number dimension. Among these are consumers. Method of operation require the amount of shopping effort and type of ownership, width and mix of product lines carried.

viii. According to Udeagha and Okeke (1993:117) to better appreciate the different types of retailing institutions. One should examine the different basis of categorizing retailers. Five general basis of categorizing retailer have been suggested by curtsied (1986:132) as follows

ix. Shopping effort expanded by customers: using this basis, store can be categorized into three: they are:

A, convenience stores:- convenience store stock and sale convenience goods. Examples are the small stores (kiosks) dealing on basic items such as snuff, groundnut, sugar just to mention but a few. They are located mainly in residential areas in towns and villages.

B, shopping stores: these store stock and sale shopping example are cloths furniture and major appliances. Examples of shopping stores are supermarket store found in the urban areas.

C, Specialty stores: these are mainly relating institution dealing on a known and limited line of products. Examples are different BABA shops located in most towns in Nigeria, NASCO carpet distribution contres, lernard shops stores and eastern shop Nigeria limited. These stores deal on specific brand products.

2. Service provided for customers on this basis retailing institutions are defined based on the amount of services they render to customers. The retailers performing the full range of retailing functions is regarded as a limited service retailer other categories of retailers service retailer using this basis are self selection and self –service retailer. Self-service and self selection retailers are those retailers that give room for private selections and self service. Here you service yourself by pricing the goods with already pasted prices this is commonly found in supermarkets.

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In the past retailers took a “supplier” approach to retailing schwewe (1987:83) the saw them selves essentially as buyers of merchandise consumers in their locality. But in the late 1970s the positioning era led to be depicted in terms of the segmentation was sequent it served. Initially this segmentation was based on demographic variable, but now life style segmentation appears to be taking hold as companies provide an image a merchandise assortment on entire feeling geared to a well defined target market “eastern shop “ for example has developed product line personnel and polices that reflects the life style of small towns.

Some of the strategic options available to retailers as identified by schewe (1987:55) are as follows.

1. VALUE STRATEGY: A retailer that adopts the value strategy attempts to offer greater overall value than its competitors, while price competition has long been a favourite strategy of retailers. It has becomes even more important since the inflationary 1970s today we are conscious and every value conscious waiting to get out money worth.

ii. EFFICIENCY STRATEGY: The retailer adopts this method to save the customers time. One English adage says that “time is money” for instance schewe (1981:55) American at time conscious and many stores have taken advantages of this strategy most convenience stores emphasize proximally to the culture and customer. Superstores stress one stop shopping that Is stop buy at once without waste of time. They encourage this by the use of catalogues which reduce the time the customers has to spend searching for a desired item.

iii. THE SENSORY STRATEGY: Some retailers emphasize the shopping experience its self. Atmosphere plays a large part in third strategy excitement is generated by special events and displays by architectural work, which attracts customers who believes they will be satisfied on entering who believes they will be satisfied on entering the store. Example, the aves inn located at Uwani, Enugu. The architectural designing of Ave Bird alone to motivate workers and customers into going to see what the inside has.

iv. THE PORTFOLIO STRATEGY: The retailer carries different lines to meet the needs of different market segments some retailers realize that their market includes many segments with different desires. They also recognize that different market segment may be in different market segments may be in different stages of growth and decline- there fore the lose portfolio approach that is caring different lines to meet the unique needs and wants of different segments. For instance BATA shops have different types of shops at different locations mostly at Enugu ogui road Uwani etc.

v. THE PERSONAL CONTACT STRATEGY: Provided personalized service, talking face to face with customer, offering advice and relaying information on the use of the product bought. It is this type of strategy that made retail shopping extremely enjoyable and preferred by customers who are concerned with individual being and quality of life. Such customers grave highly customized and expert personal service with this talking with bosses whom the customers believe will treat them well becomes easier.


A retail firm has fair major alternatives for conducting business. It may perform the retailing itself gives specialized companies contracts do the work to share the work to specialists or customers the lasts three alternatives may reduce the firms total cost of operation on the other hand, if the firm does not handle the work itself, there is a loss of individually and differentiation .

Marketing channels have different structures as identified by Kotter (1984:414)

1. Producer retailer consumer

2. Producer wholesaler retailer consumer

3. Producer agent wholesaler consumer

From the above, channel structures; one can notice that the work of consumer depends highly on the retailer for its consumptions. For the purpose of this study we base on step two of the channel structure, that is, producer wholesaler retailer consumer. This is, the most common channel structure in lose in Nigeria find it convenient using the channel structure. In it all, the benefits of direct marketing strategy are manifested. Goods achieve very wide coverage and high sales volume. This structure is only popular in customer market.

According to Okeke (1990:115) shoe sole used in making shoes move from manufacturing plants to major distributors who sell to retailers. The retailers ultimately service shoemaker who are the user of shoe sole. In Nigeria retailers innovate and therefore can serve as producers. Clear example of this can be found in Aba in Aba, Abia state, there are many scattered shoe marketers who model and design shoes. Some are not equipped to produce up to a dozen Paris shoes every day due to its small nature and lack of enough capital. There are however, many big time dealers (wholesalers) coming from far away towns like kano, kaduna, name it to facilitate transaction for these buyers, some people have taken it open themselves to put the small qualities from various show makers and put them together for the whole buyers.

The quality and reliability of the merchandise fair price cash refund or exchange of return, goods, a delivery service careful packaging of items purchases and free car packing etc contribute to character of a store.

Every retailer knows that different people have different habits. Some like to shop down town because they believe that the stores are usually larger and may have better selection of goods. Other prefer sub-urban store because their locations are convenient and can offer variety of goods sold on bit to the reach of every body.



This work was concerned with the study of the survival strategy adopted by selected small scale in Enugu urban, Eastern shop Ogui Road to be precise. The analysis of the data contained in the questionnaire given to customers unveiled some interesting information. The most important of these are.

1. The small scale retail outlet adapt to changes in business environment with strategy formation discount, product line diversification, free gifts and bonuses.

2. Identification of the targets on markets and satisfying the needs of these targets on markets and satisfying them in the long run.

3. The strategy market activities of the retail outlets are baed on effective market segmentation and targeting with differentiated product offering.

4. Small scale retail outlets react adversely to changes in environment.

5. An exchange relation between small scale retail outlets and their environment is very vital for their survivals.

6. To survival, the small scale business must be responsible and responsive to the need of her customers.

7. The use of discount, bonus and free gifts are the major incentives for customers attraction.

8. Offering good quality products to the target market helps small scale business to survive in long run.

9. Relocation of business site helps greatly in reviving of fallen business.

10. Product differentiation and market segmentation encourages business growth.

11. Product line and product diversification promotes the growth of business since business line is highly maintained with these strategies.

12. Market segmentation is the basis for understanding customers needs for effective targeting, monitoring, positioning, planning, implementation and assessment of market performance.

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13. To survive a small scale retail business needs to be financially up to data knowing source of fund available to it how to raise money and how to keep financial record and how to manage the money.

14. It is advisable to plan appropriately, make best selection, location a business at a good site and most importantly knows how to attract and win a customers attention in order to survive.


In this study in order to gather as much relevant information on the study as possible a number of data technician are very vital to the management of retail outlets. One cannot rely solely on already made work or more initiation, but it actually includes critical understanding of the full application of these strategies by retail outlets.

A test research: this is the use of existing information for research purpose, in contrast to all other methods where fresh data have to be collected .two complementary aspects of dest research known as comprehensive searching and secondary analysis can be identified. Comprehensive search involving the researcher checking existing knowledge about the research topic before starting this research. Secondary analysis uses published data as substitute data as substitute for data collected by the researcher in the course of this work, textbooks in the library publishes materials such as magazines Journals and other periodicals were thoroughly consulted some other information add data that were deemed vital and relevant to the research were also gathered from records of the eastern shop.

B, field research. This is the research, which is conducted by interviewing people in the field by interviewing people in the field as when interviewing contact respondents these constitute the personal managers and owners of retail outlets other than eastern shop managers who were interviewed in the course of this research work. The data collected from these serve as a basis for our vital source of information.


The primary data were collected by means of research questionnaire. The questions were uniformly constructed for all managers and owners of retail for all mangers and owners or retailers outlets. Most of these questions were structures together. Information using close ended questions were mainly used as personal views.

The managers of eastern shop read were all interviewed about the different strategies adopted by the establishment for its survival for the purpose of this work response on were all contained in the survival strategies adopted by small scale retail outlets on the previous chapter. The information gathered was tallied tabulated and converted to percentage and other statistic tools such as pie chart for better elaboration.

Alternative responses Eastern shop Proda

Frequency % Frequency % Total

Very satisfactory 3 3.6 2 2.3 5

Satisfactory 17 20.5 3.5 40.7 52

Unsatisfactory 58 69.9 42 48.8 100

Very satisfactory 5 60 7 8.2 12

TOTAL 87 100 86 100 169

Source: survey data 2002 as shown in table above 3 respondents in eastern shop indicated that survival strategies adopted by tit were very satisfactory. This figure represent 3.6 percent 17 respondents representing 20.5 percent agree it satisfactory on the other hand a majority of 58 respondent giving 69.9 percent agreed that budgeted survival strategies achievement as being unsatisfactory while 5 respondents representing 6 percent were of the view it is very unsatisfactory survival strategies achievement as being very satisfactory while 35 respondents giving 40.7 percent agreed that is satisfactory . Those who rated their survival strategies as being unsatisfactory were 48.8 percent. A total of 7 respondents representing 8.2 percent said hat budget survival strategies achievement in their company is very unsatisfactory.


In the light of the above findings, the researchers are therefore recommending to the entrepreneurs of small scale outlets several measures. The researchers hope that the recommendations if adopted will go a long way in achieving the future prospect of there firms.

The measures are as follows.

1. Since it is impossible to think about growth when a shop is located at a place where there are many others such shops competing to satisfy the some neighborhood shop be located at area there is fewer sellers but larger number of buyers.

Note: in every environment where there is innovation. There is to be growth, which will only be achieved by a shop rightly.

ii. Entrepreneur of small scale shops need not to employ more workers than are necessary to the firm. The reduction will encourage a higher profit margin from the specified field of treatment.

iii. Discounts free gifts and bonus should always be offered to customers for higher patronage. We Nigerians go for free of change gifts more than we go for an item payable on demand.

iv. Relocation of business should not be over looked when the manager notices the business is collapsing. He should relocate the site to attract people from all works of life, knowing fully well that a shop which is located at the heart of a town is very advantageous.

v. product-line diversification, differentiation and market segmentation strategies should be strictly used by an entrepreneur for these encourage growth.

Entrepreneurs should know that small scale retail shops being easy to operate give room for much competition because the numbers of small scale outlet outrages other kinds of businesses. It is a business the least person will like business. It is business the butes to the failure of many business entrepreneurs who cannot face competition.

It is an innovation; a clever manager who will be able t copy the competitors product and made of sales can survive. An experienced person who wants to go into business would firstly under take a feasibility study of the product he intends to deal on and how much it will sell in the business environment, considering the external and internal factors.

An entrepreneur has to segment his market because there will be no market target without market segmentation. He has to target the market to determine for whom the product is made. How many of these products are in neighborhood. How many of these he have? And how to get to the supplier when necessary. Entrepreneurs should try and know the sources of fund to get loan from the bank, proper location of shops etc. with these, there is bound to be expansion with which a business is bound to survive.

3.4 Conclusion

In this study, the researcher carried out a survey in Enugu urban in order to find out the survival strategies adopted by some small-scale analyzed and evaluated. The percentage rate analysis was used in the analysis of the data. The main conclusion drawn from this study is that the survival strategies adopted by small scale outlets are discounts, bonus and free fights offered to consumers based on quantity of products purchased the use of product line product diversification, and differentiation, relocation of business site and market targeting. One is able to provide appropriate, market products that can satisfy the needs of customers.

Survival Strategies Adopted By Small –Scale Retail Outlets In Nigeria: (A Case Study Of Eastern Shop, Ogui Road Enugu)

To place an order for the Complete Project Material, pay N5,000 to

GTBank (Guaranty Trust Bank)
Account Name – Chudi-Oji Chukwuka
Account No – 0044157183

Then text the name of the Project topic, email address and your names to 08060565721.  

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