Title page for ETD etd-04302011-215648

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Khumalo, Funeka Nomasundu
URN etd-04302011-215648
Document Title How to best serve the rural and small town middle class market in South Africa
Degree MBA
Department Gordon Institute of Business Science
Advisor Name Title
Ms K Chipp Supervisor
  • aspirational buying
  • seasonal market
  • middle class
  • rural areas
  • small towns
Date 2010-11-10
Availability unrestricted

This is an exploratory study with a purpose to gain an understanding of the middle class that is not situated in the cities in South Africa, whether this middle is served adequately in their areas. A population of middle class consumer who reside in the rural and small towns of South Africa and those who visit these areas was interviewed in in-depth face to face interviews. Expert interviews with retailers that they normally purchase from were also conducted.

The study shows evidence of the middle class in the rural and small towns that goes out of their towns to source aspirational goods that are not available in their small towns. This class is aware of current styles and brands as they are exposed to media and they are influenced by those who live in the cities and also get exposure through their travels. It was also found that there is a number of the black middle class that currently resides in the cities however through their family ties in the rural and small town areas, they go back seasonally to be with their families and hence they expect to find the goods that they are accustomed to when they get there.

The retailers had concerns with the size of the market in the rural and small towns, being small, however, this market does increase seasonally and models to serve a seasonal market are suggested. The research concludes that there is a middle class in the rural and small town areas of South Africa, this market grows seasonally and ways to service this market can be sought.

Copyright 2010, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

Khumalo, FN 2010, How to best serve the rural and small town middle class market in South Africa, MBA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-04302011-215648/>


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