Economy market: trade in used shoes, a profitable business

• Which feeds hundreds of people

• The shoes are from European countries

• Turnover of approx. 200,000 FCFA per month

“The people of Burkina Faso are generally interested in second-hand goods because they are cheaper and of better quality,” said Bernard Ilboudo, a shoe salesman at the shoe market behind Maison du Peuple. (Ph. Yvan Sama).

According to the French dictionary, the thrift store can be defined as all the clothes and items that have been used by other people. These include clothes, handbags, shoes and even household appliances. In recent years, the second-hand shop has boomed in the Burkinabè market. It is popular among the users. The clothes are commonly called “yougou yougou” and the items, “France goodbye”. L’Economiste du Faso was specifically interested in the used shoe market, which overshadows even the sale of new shoes. Used shoe sellers are located everywhere in Ouagadougou, especially in the markets, along the roads or on the street. Where are these shoes from? Is the company profitable? To try to answer these questions, L’Economiste du Faso immersed this market in Ouagadougou.

Where do the thrift store’s shoes come from?
Boukari Ouédraogo is a used shoe seller on the outskirts of Boulevard France-Afrique, not far from the Patte d’Oie roundabout. It specializes in the sale of thrift stores shoes for children. He tells about the origin of his goods. “I have been doing this job for two years. I take my goods from a wholesaler in Ouagadougou. The latter imports shoes from Lomé (Togo). They are from Europe, especially in France”, trusted Mr. Ilboudo. He takes a bale of shoes from the wholesaler at a price of 40,000 FCFA, 60,000 FCFA or 75,000 FCFA.The ball can count between 1,000 and 1,500 shoes, which he sells between 500 FCFA and 1,000 FCFA per pair of shoes.Bernard Ilboudo has a 15-year career in this profession.He develops in the sale of new shoes and used clothes.It mainly sells adult shoes.It is installed in the shoe market behind Maison du Peuple, on rue Traoré Diongolo.For him, the used shoes that are in the Burkinabè market are for the most part “It’s in coastal countries like Togo and Ghana that traders go to warehouses,” he said. “According to Mr. Ilboudo, other wealthy traders often import their goods directly from European countries by plane.” the price of the product is expensive e.
An activity that provides jobs
According to Bernard Ilboudo, the second-hand shop’s shoes have no fixed price. The price depends on the quality and condition of the shoe. For him, the population is generally interested in used things because they are cheaper and of good quality. If the market is good, he continues, I can sell 5 shoes a day. It is often possible to make a turnover of 100,000 FCFA to 200,000 FCFA a month. But since the country has been through this security crisis, the market has been gloomy.
This activity creates jobs. In the shoe market alone, there are about 200 stores. According to Mr. Ilboudo, “there are more than 200 stores selling shoes (new and / or economical shoes) on the market. In each store there are about 3 people working there”.

Economy market: trade in used shoes, a profitable business

Boukari Ouédraogo, seller of recycled shoes for children. (Ph. Yvan Sama).

Boukari Ouédraogo also complains about the difficult situation that most traders in the country are going through. Before, he could make a good turnover. But now things are getting more and more complicated. “Before, I could have 200,000 FCFA to 250,000 FCFA as turnover per month, especially as they approach the festive periods. I could sell an average of 50 shoes a day. I do not sell cheap. The price is between 500 FCFA and 1,000 FCFA only paired shoes , ”He remembered.
The two traders noted the difficulties they face in practicing this profession. Bernard Ilboudo finds customs duties high. To him, they do not allow small traders like him to make ends meet. He appeals to the authorities to put in place support mechanisms for small traders by revising customs duties on imports.
Boukari Ouédraogo, he very often has quarrels with the police due to the location of his business (at the edge of the track). The latter accuses him of illegally occupying public space.
Issouf TAPSOBA (partner)


Focus on the footwear market in Burkina

According to, 99% of the country’s shoe demand is covered by imports from Asia and Europe. This is explained by the fact that there is no shoe manufacturing industry in Burkina. However, there are artisans and socio-professional centers that make shoes by hand using semi-mechanized facilities. Footwear imports increased from FCFA 3.72 billion in 2008 to FCFA 5.03 billion in 2017, an increase of 35.21%.

Edition number: 437

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