We help brands and their distribution partners reach lower-income consumers through the development of new routes-to-market, leveraging existing yet untapped micro-retailer channels in African largest cities.
Our empiric approach and vision is to develop distribution models that conciliate business performance and social impact to:

Guarantee socio-economic inclusion of micro-retailers

deliver long term efficiency of our clients’ business

create narratives that contribute to clients CSR goals

Retail complexity, source of innovative approaches

We develop new routes-to-market to fit with purchasing habits that are triggered by needs, impulse, trust and proximity.

African markets are dominated by traditionnal retail

The distribution industry is highly fragmented on the continent, therefore consumption is mainly via small players from traditional trade that are formal or informal such as mom and pop-shops, street vendors, kiosks, etc. Consumers tend to purchase goods on a daily basis rather than buying once in bulk. They have an appetite for brands but are very price-sensitive. They are used to buying from local retailers, which makes them key assets for distribution chains.

Penetration rate of traditional and modern retail

The untapped opportunity that we foresee: the micro-retailers

In this challenging context, reaching mass markets in most of African countries requires new approaches in order to fit with purchasing habits that are triggered by needs, impulse, trust and proximity.

We see the great untapped potential of micro-retailers for brands to boost their market penetration, purchase frequency and growth, while maximizing their social impact within their value chain.

Sources: Boston Consulting Group, The Future of Traditional Retail in Africa (2022), Euromonitor International The Future of Retailing in Sub-Saharan Africa (2020), Standard Bank Africa Consumer Insights Report 2020 (2020)

Penetration rate of traditional and modern retail

Our approach: 4-step plan, a 12-month journey


  1. We design channels from A to Z
  2. We help organisations select the ideal territory / range / brand
  3. We design the end-to-end Route-to-market (incl retailers / zoning / consumer behavior / pricing)
  4. We build Topline P&L Forecasts


  1. We launch and run pilots to validate the business potential through actual sales
  2. We recruit and manage field teams
  3. We design social and financial incentive plans for micro-retailers
  4. We build targets and monitor social impact


  1. We prepare the handover for an efficient scaling-up phase
  2. We create the conditions for the brand distribution partner to lead the scaling up phase


  1. We take the project to new horizons and replicate in other countries while creating the narrative in congruence with corporate CSR

Beyond Trade Team

Jean-Marc Guesné
Jean-Marc Guesné
Prior to joining Archipel&Co, Jean-Marc Guesné spent 7 years as a social entrepreneur in Asia, where he created two agricultural development companies and over 1,000 jobs. Creator of Bel's "Sharing Cities" program, then Director of Ashoka France, the world's largest network of social entrepreneurs, he is now a director of several corporate foundations and a member of the investment committees of impact funds. Jean-Marc is a telecommunications engineer and a graduate of HEC, where he teaches regularly. jean-marc.guesne@archipel-co.com
Sacha Bokhobza
Sacha Bokhobza
After more than 10 years building and implementing export models on behalf of major agri-food groups, notably in Africa, Sacha now supports all types of organizations (multinationals, ETIs, SMEs, institutions, supranational organizations) in their international deployment: diagnosis, strategic and operational support, implementation, HR, etc. Sacha has been working alongside Archipel&Co for several years, as an associate and Senior Advisor. sacha.bokhobza@archipel-co.com

Our experiences

micro-retailers reached
8 countries
already covered in African and Asia
+15 pilots
implemented in African countries

They trust us

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Archipel&Co. is a social innovation and impact strategy agency.

Since 2011, we have been supporting our clients in the design and implementation of their impact projects, in France and in emerging countries. A multi-disciplinary team of 35 consultants and intrapreneurs, all with a passion for impact and complementary expertise.

20 millions

people sustainably impacted by our projects and those of our clients


people interviewed per year in our studies

7 offices

in Europe, Africa, Middle-East and Asia

+40 countries

where we can easily operate, thanks to our extensive network of partners

+100 clients

supported: multinationals, SMEs, social enterprises, NGOs, foundations, public institutions

+500 missions

to support our clients in their transition to a more inclusive economy

Ready to innovate? You have questions?
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