Business-Buying And Selling35 Comments

The supermarket is a place you should be able to get all your essentials and non-essentials alike. In good supermarkets, you can get anything, electronic gadgets, food items, toiletries and even fresh fruits and clothes, you can get all of them in a supermarket. But the major stock in a supermarket is the grocery, they contribute to more than half of all the supplies in any supermarket business.

It is essentially a shop but a major feature about supermarkets is that you go around stalls and shelves to shop for items. It is effective for avid shoppers and brings a lot of money to the owner because with plenty of items on display, people see items that appeal to them and they just grab them and add to their shopping basket.

SEE ALSO: How to Start a Grocery Store in Nigeria

If you are aiming to start your own supermarket business, this article explains all the detailed requirements, the startup cost, the profit margin, as well as every other things you need to put into place to get started.

Where To Locate Supermarkets

Supermarkets are best located in urban cities and suburban towns. Small towns won’t cut it, because the majority of buyers from a supermarket are city dwellers as they tend to consume more stuff, and when they shop they shop varieties of the same item. Like tissue papers for example, the city dweller buys a toilet paper for the restroom, a tissue box for the sitting room and a toilet roll for the kitchen, so the supermarket performs better in a city lifestyle setting or suburbs.

SEE ALSO: Cost of Renting a Shop in Lagos

Supermarkets do well in shopping malls, and filling stations because these are places with high human traffic. If they must be situated inside a plaza then it has to have a lot of space to accommodate the style of the supermarket, you don’t want your customers bumping into each other or goods cramped up in a little space or even worse, some goods not having fortune to be displayed. You can also locate a supermarket in line with other shops, like you have your corner stores.

Setting Up The Supermarket Warehouse

A warehouse is where you store your products before they are being sent to the shelves. They are usually located not far from the actual supermarket or even adjacent to it. Its function is to keep a stash of goods that will serve as a reserve supply when the ones in the shop are sold out because, a shop owner doesn’t wait till his stock is depleted before he makes a move for a restock. It may take several days before goods are delivered, which means there will be empty stalls in the supermarket which is not ideal for supermarket business as customers will start venturing somewhere else when they start to notice they don’t get what they came looking for.

SEE ALSO: How To Start A Clothing Shop Boutique in Nigeria Or Any African Country

Special care should be taken for fragile goods, ones that are heavy should be placed below light ones and when stacking carton packages don’t exceed the maximum number a particular carton could carry, the maximum stacking weight is always labelled on the carton. Goods that smell should not be put close to ones that do not, like detergent and foodstuff for example. The place should not be damp or contain a leak (both roof and rat holes) as many goods could be damaged that way. And, a great security should be in place.

Arranging Your Shelves

Arrange goods in shelves in such a way that it will be easy for customers to navigate and find what they want. You should start by creating categories for your goods, then place each item where it belongs. Related items should be found close to each other for example Pasta shouldn’t be far from macaroni.

Choose suitable furniture, metal rails are good as they are lightweight and don’t take much space as their wooden counterpart. But then wooden furniture takes more load, it’s up to you to decide which suits your shop best.

Naming your shelves is a priceless idea, it will help people navigate even more easily. You can achieve that by placing the names directly on the shelf (some shelves come with available spots for name tags) or you can erect sign boards that point to product categories, usually large supermarkets employ the use of the type that hangs from the ceiling. Another important tip when arranging goods is to separate male products from female products, it will make things a lot easier for customers but that is not why you did that, female customers tend to buy on impulse and once they have all they need in front of them it is going to be a shopping spree which means more cash into your register.

Electricity And Lighting

Since a supermarket is built under a roof it gets really dark when there is a power outage, you have to have a generator set that will supply enough to power the lights and POS machines (more on that later), and to power refrigerators. Lighting is very important, fix as many light bulbs as is possible in the shop.


Retail is your primary concern when running a supermarket. To maximize profits supermarkets usually discourage wholesale of goods except on exclusive items sometimes. Also take note the owner of a supermarket is not a reseller, there is a huge difference, a reseller usually sells one product en masse like a T-shirt reseller but in the supermarket business, you aim for everything and what really matters to you is supply and re-supply continuously of everything under the sun.

The major product categories found in supermarkets are listed below;

  1. Groceries
  2. Toiletries
  3. Wear accessories such as sunglasses and watches
  4. Notebooks and stationary
  5. Clothing
  6. Food stuff (fresh)
  7. Food stuff (frozen)
  8. Household items
  9. Electronics and appliances
  10. Kitchen supplies
  11. Baby care
  12. Fashion and beauty products
  13. Simple tools such as scissors
  14. Clothing

Restocking Your Supplies

The single most important thing while running a supermarket business is to know i) when to restock and ii) the quantity to restock. One has to keep tabs on the rate at which goods are finished so that they can get them before they are depleted. Also the owner/manager has to keep a reliable and stable communication line so that you could be reached when there is need for distribution companies to contact you, and making a great number of contacts is important, because your goods come from different sources, the contact list related to this business will include businessmen, distributors, wholesalers, product companies (e.g. Indomie noodles), marketers etc. Sometimes the list may include homemade snacks from catering services or even from individual homes around your neighborhood. There is huge revenue from these small enterprises because people like them but just make sure before you start selling these products they have the necessary requirements like a NAFDAC registration for example.

There are so many different items and varieties that it’s impossible to get from one place, below are a list of some of the usual restocking methods;

  1. Distribution companies
  2. Wholesalers
  3. Direct from manufacturers
  4. Online order

Distribution Companies

Distribution companies choose a set of products to distribute, some of them distribute specific items for specific companies while others mix the kind of products they deal with. They usually come knocking at your door so you don’t have to worry about finding them but when you start out new before you are known on the yellow pages, so you have to restock by going to wholesalers the first few times.


There are businesses that setup huge ware houses or big stores to sell certain type of products, they get their products directly from the manufacturer and don’t sell in small quantities. Shop owners come to buy from them at a reduced price from the original selling price to retail. Most of your items will be coming from wholesalers.

Direct From Manufacturers

Some manufacturers allow for their goods to be bought by small buyers like retailers. Mostly because they don’t produce much at a time or it is part of their marketing strategy to sell to retailers, anyways you jump at the opportunity.

Making Orders Online

At this technological age it is close to impossible to skim off the internet from any business. With products spread all over the globe, getting your hands on them quickly has never been easier, it is fast, it is convenient and it is cheap as you wouldn’t need to worry about shipping costs if you are buying in bulk, especially when one orders from China where most products are being made.

You could use this method to buy from specific sellers like a fashion house, and you could use it to order for items that cannot be sourced locally.

Tools For An Inventory

Keeping a good inventory list is a must, which is an itemized list of all the merchandise in stock. It will help you determine what you need, how much you need and when. The simplest way is by manually writing in a book, though it is time consuming and very susceptible to errors.

The other way is by using barcode scanners. Computers fitted with a barcode scanner and the appropriate software makes the job a lot more easier, for every item that is sold it is registered into the system simply by scanning it, the software marks that product as ‘purchased’ and at the same time strikes it off your inventory, it collects other data such as price of item so that at the end of the day you know exactly how many of that same product is left and how much it will cost you to restock.

List Of Required Items

In order to start a supermarket business you are going to need some serious equipment. Our calculations and price quotes will be based on an 8×16 meter square of shop space, and as it is impossible to name a price for the goods in a supermarket because of their abundant varieties, we are just going to name a single price for the goods that will represent the amount needed to fill the 8×16 meter square shop if they were displayed on racks and some stored in the warehouse.

The price that will conveniently fill the 8×16 m2 supermarket will be approximately N2.8 Million Naira plus N500,000 worth of warehouse supply, it would total N3.3 Million Naira.

The list consists of two tables, one for goods/products and the other for capital assets you will need to start the business.

Items Description Percentage Price (Out of 3.3 Million)
Food Items Canned foods fall in this category, frozen foods, fresh fruits, snacks and other groceries. 34% 1,122,000
Toiletries Soaps and detergents fall under this category. 23% 759,000
Household Items 11% 363,000
Beauty Products 4.5% 148,500
Books and Stationary School materials. 9.2% 303,600
Clothing and clothing accessories Clothing should not be a major focus in the business. 3.3% 108,900
Other Products 15% 495,000


The next table below is the one with the list of capital assets.

Items Description Quantity Price
Rent 150,000-300,000
Generator 6.6KVA 1 220,000
Shelves Wall facing and double facing shelves. 11 759,000
Display racks Ones for particular type of goods, 3-5 different types. 5 35,000
Electric wiring To fit lights. 13,000
Cash registers 1 75,000
Desktop computer The complete set. 1 85,000
UPS 1 24,000
Gen. fuel Monthly. 50,000
Employees Monthly salary for up to four people. 95,000
Barcode scanner 11,000
Thermal receipt printer 37,000
Paper rolls For receipt printer. 10,000
Price label tag machines 5,800
Refrigerator Suitable for soft drinks. 1 113,000
Freezer For items such as ice cream and packed frozen turkey/chicken. 1 83,650
Shopping baskets 25 7,500
Trolley carts Small size. 10 60,000
Counter’s desk 1 45,000
Air conditioner 2 159,200
Push/pull glass doors Install these doors to make air conditioning efficient. 250,000
ATM POS machine 1 27,000
Total = 2,465,150


Adding the total capital 2.4 million with the price of goods 3.3 million it will be N5,765,150.

Hired Help For Your Supermarket Business

Your supermarket business is going to need to be run by assistants, some persons who do the hard labour of moving goods to and fro, at least one security personnel, and the sales person at the counter. The sales person has to be experienced and have a technical know-how of how to operate the computer and the various software that will come with it, know how to operate the printing machines should be able to replace paper rolls, and should be perform simple trouble shootings by him/herself.

SEE ALSO: How To Hire The Best Team Your Business Needs To Succeed

There should be at least four workers in the shop that size. Salary ranges widely between the employees, the sales person gets the chunk of the salary which may range from forty five to fifty thousand Naira. The others may be at the range of fifteen to twenty thousand Naira each monthly.

Sales In The Supermarket

All the action happens at the counter when a customer is about to pay for items. Here, you employ what marketers call after sales marketing, bring forward the snacks and other small items such as batteries and small toys, things the customer will not hesitate to buy because of their low price, these items may save you the hassle of finding change and put more money into your pocket. Custom plastic bags is also a great marketing tool, whereby your supermarket business name and brand is printed on it and handed to customers when they checkout.

Each and every item should be scanned by the barcode scanner for the computer to process the transaction and update the inventory list, and for every transaction there should be a receipt printed and given unless the customer states otherwise. At times you might experience a computer breakdown, this should not spell the end of the day, devise a backup plan to record the sales data, which the best way to achieve this is by writing in a book, tedious but worth it.

Another important thing at this point is to keep things tidy and organized, simple chores should be organized and be done with efficiently, for example shopping baskets should be returned to their place and not to be left at the counter where the customer presented it.

Paying of Tax

You could easily be paying too much tax if you haven’t registered your business properly with the CAC because your tax will only be an estimate and you could be facing fines.

Promotion And Deals

Participate in as many promotions as possible, help brands spread awareness of their products. That does not only help them it also makes people view your supermarket business as more legit and ‘classy’, and you might end gaining rewards from the promotions and deals.

Expected Profit Margin

It is very hard to say as this form of business swerves with the economy, a simple rise or fall in the economy can affect it badly and change the margin by several degrees but it is possible to be estimated around 1% or less, which could be up to N78,000 in cash every day.

Brief Summary

Capital to start business: N5,765,150.

Suitable location: Urban areas.

Potential customers: Everybody.

Profit margin: 1-2%

Business hours: 12 hours daily.

Supermarket business is one of the most profitable venture in Nigeria this time. The daily products sold in supermarkets are the everyday needs for everyone. Follow these guide to start your own supermarket business today and watch as the profits overflows.

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  • Kabir October 21, 2017


    Thank you very much for the wonderful insight into supermarket business. Thanks a lot.

    My question is I want to set up a food mart buy direct outlet for our company’s products like convenience store across stratergic locations in Nigeria. We are in to grocery/fmcgs

    Please I will need you contact

    Thank you


    • Isaac Hope May 15, 2019

      We ar pleased u all love the article, we also offer Automated System to help you block the loopholes in your supermarket, its also important to tract your goods coming in and going out and also help in running all the reports u require.

  • Hafiz Mukhtar Mahmud October 21, 2017

    Hello Alhaji Kabir, I am glad you liked the article. I have sent my number to the email

    here is my email Sir, thank you once again.

    • bunmi January 1, 2018

      hello Hafiz Mukhtar I am setting up a supermarket in Lagos pls how can I reach or send your tel no thanks

    • Chidubem Timothy June 14, 2018

      This article is next to non. I love it and truly appreciate the intellectual work you did.

      I have interest in this business area and would like to site a mini supermarket at Enugu with a good number already in place.

      Kindly avail me your contact. We could work together in some areas.

      Many thanks.

    • Damilola May 31, 2020

      Thank u for d info n explanations cn I plz get ur email

  • Bunmi December 28, 2017

    this is one of the most informative and concise break downs I have read in my online research.Pls kindly send your contact details as I would like to get more in-depth information regarding the setting up of a mini supermarket.
    Many thanks

    • Hafiz Mukhtar Mahmud January 1, 2018

      Thank you for the compliments. I have sent you an email. and you should probably contact Mr. darlinton via the contact page of this site, I think he does business consulting.

  • Atinuke Buraimoh January 22, 2018

    Insightful right up.
    May I have your contact and email address

  • udi victoria February 22, 2018

    I love this. Please I need your contact

  • Hope February 26, 2018

    I am a graduate but wish to start up something for myself. I’ve had to think whether a grocery will do or a restraunt and which location will b best for me. Pls advise me. Your article is next to no other. Thanks

  • Sunny March 12, 2018

    Very detailed article. God bless you for this.

  • Muhammed March 17, 2018

    This is very good information. But it is hard to place it in the context of time. No date anywhere to say if the prices quoted are current or not.
    Please send your contact if we can talk further.

    • Hafiz Mukhtar Mahmud May 25, 2018

      Thank you, the prices are all estimated costs for 2017, they could be a few thousands of Naira above or below what I quoted.

  • Mrs Uju April 1, 2018

    Please I need ur contact wanna start supermat biz as soon as possible.

  • Kester April 26, 2018

    This article is lovely. I want to start the supermarket business but in Benin city (Edo State) I’d like to have to contact as soon as possible. Thanks.

  • Imose May 17, 2018

    Thank you very this article was helpful to me,i really appreciate

  • Kaleb May 24, 2018

    This is by far the best article I have read online concerning the topic…
    Your have answered all my questions…
    Thank you very much

  • Tarila Wilson-Omusuo June 16, 2018

    I really appreciate this write up, i would like to start a supermarket in Port-harcourt.
    Kindly Send me Your details for more consultation.
    Thank You.

  • Precious July 4, 2018

    Thanks so much, this is a wonderful article .
    I love and appreciate the lacture

    Please I would like to have your contact for futher consultation

    • Hafiz Mukhtar Mahmud July 4, 2018

      Oh thank you so much, I really appreciate the compliments. Here’s my email; hafizheronet @ yahoo DOT com
      I will be hearing from you. Thanks

  • Victor Emeka July 9, 2018

    Thanks so much for your information and enlightenment about this business..please kindly send me your contact…I want to run such business at imo state…
    I will be kindly be waiting for your reply,thanks.

  • Abraham Segun August 11, 2018

    thank you pls, i will need your phone no. God bless you In Jesus name

  • YEMISI ENITAN September 22, 2018

    What a great insight. Thumb up

    I need a consultant to assist me set up one. Can you assist me?


  • Emmanuel Akpan January 4, 2019

    I would like to get more tips on Supermarket Take off in Ibadan.

  • Jant January 23, 2019

    Wow…. This was really helpful, thank you so much

  • Chukwudi Edeali May 24, 2019

    This article of yours is incredibly wonderful. I mean, reading through it has left me with that sense of simplicity and enthusiasm that one could only get from proper understanding of a good business idea. I can’t thank you enough for this sir, even as I will love to get in contact with you, for more on it….if only you can let me have your contact.

  • Temitope Busari June 30, 2019

    I love this article a lot, AM opening a super mart in lagos here ur email will be needed for easy access.

  • Osunsanya Tunji July 9, 2019

    Can you consult for someone in ibadan for establishing a supermarket

  • Elite Dike September 9, 2019

    Hello i am planing on sighting HYPERMARKET store in ikeja here is my email i will appreciate if you email me lets get in touch and know how to work this out together.. parisdike@yahoo,com i will be waiting on your email.

  • kene October 28, 2019

    very informative and helpful

  • Ilyasu yakubu amana November 18, 2019

    Am ilyasu yakubu amana from Yobe state Nigeria am here for the purposes of being a distributor of Coca Cola company in order to start the business collaborate with them that’s I wnt the way out and how much should I start the business with

  • Emperor justice July 14, 2020

    Thank u very much for making the supermarket business explicit to everyone..

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