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Jumia Bounces Back after Changing Gears

In response to Covid-19 outbreaks across the continent, Jumia—the largest pan-African e-commerce operator, made a shift in its business model. The e-commerce marketplace operator de-emphasized its phone and consumer electronics inventory, shifting focus to everyday product categories including groceries and beauty products which rose in demand. The move was partly due to emerging supply chain constraints given widespread restrictions on travel as well. The inventory adjustment came months after Jumia exited three of its African markets to reduce operating costs. And, as its latest earnings results show, the moves are yielding results as operating losses narrowed to $33 million in the second quarter—a nearly 50% drop compared to a year ago.  It’s a major mark for a company which has long made headlines for widening losses—Jumia’s losses notably widened as recently as the fourth quarter of 2019.