New shopping experience enters retail market as Hubmart Stores opens for business
For the residents of Ikeja GRA and environs, a new shopping and retail experience has crept into their neighbourhood as Hubmart Stores, at the weekend, opened for business to make a difference.
Sitting on about 1,400 square metres of land and standing on two floors with over 800 square metres lettable space, Hubmart Stores is the latest indigenous shopping outlet in the Lagos retail market. It is located strategically on the highbrow Isaac John Street in Ikeja GRA.
The facility, which is developed, owned and operated by Hubmart Stores Limited, boasts all the facilities and trappings of modern retail with its striking orange façade which is an escape from the traditional red colour that many retail shopping malls are adorned with.
“This is a well designed and well equipped retail store; it is not as big as other malls in town, but retail business is not about size of the mall or store, but good customer experience and satisfaction”, said Murat Bektaster, MD/CEO, Hubmart Stores Limited at a pre-launch media briefing in Lagos.
It is a one-stop-shop for all household needs, and Cheng Fuller, the company’s Assistant Vice President, Marketing, assured that customers would not be spending more than 25 minutes to do their shopping as the facility has been designed for convenience, comfort and flexibility.
“We have created an environment where customers can find everything they want under one roof, get the best quality of ultra-fresh farm produce, and have a delightful, fulfilling and exciting shopping trip. Children are not left out as we have innovative children-focused shopping carts and baby trucks to delight them as well”, Fuller said.
Bektaster also assured that “we are here to offer unique customer service because we are a humble candidate for the leadership of the retail market in Nigeria; we are open to change because we believe that change must take place”. He disclosed that they have plans to increase their outlets in Lagos in no distant future.
The Ikeja outlet is coming on the heels of their first facility located on Adeola Odeku in Victoria Island. The next destination, according to the MD, is Lekki—the fastest developing suburb in Lagos where both residential and commercial development activities are reaching feverish pitch.
The Ikeja outlet parades ultramodern facilities. There is a food court which will boast of a Deli and several other exciting offers. This is located on the first floor of the building for those looking for a quick bite and a relaxing atmosphere to enjoy their favorite meals. There are also products from local and international brands ranging from household items to dairy, confectionaries, toiletries, groceries and a fresh farm produce section.
There is a relatively spacious parking space that can take about 100 cars at a time. Walking through the entire facility and taking note of its arresting ambience, it was observed that, though the outlet isn’t currently the largest retail in the country, it is poised to be one of the best.
Challenges however remain. According to the managing director, manufacturing, import operations and lack of skill sets or educated staff are part of the major challenges for investors in this business. He said there was urgent need for investors to encourage local manufacturers, especially farmers.
He disclosed plans by his company to address the problem of educated retail staff, saying that they would soon open a retail academy where staff would be trained on the operations of formal retail.
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