Nigeria’s retail sector has reached $125 billion in the last five years, thanks to the growing middle-class, young demography and rising consumer incomes, Russell Hughes, commercial director, Clarion Events West Africa, said in Lagos, while quoting the Global Retail Index.
There has been an impressive growth of independent market retailers, multiple, online and department retailers in Nigeria amid 2.6 percent population growth and demography of 183 million, half of whom are under 40.
At this year’s Home Décor and Giftware Exhibition held at the Landmark Exhibition Centre in Lagos, Hughes said the numbers show that Nigeria’s retail market is the biggest in the sub-Saharan Africa.
“This exciting retail backdrop has caused Clarion Events West Africa to partner with the Retail Council of Nigeria, DENIM, AAID and many more leading industry associates to organise Home, Décor and giftware Nigeria (HD&G), which is an international B-2-B homeware, furnishing, interior décor, textile and gift exhibition, aiming to open up channels of trade between Nigerian retail buyers and interior designers with local and international suppliers and manufacturers,” he said.
Featured in the exhibition was a vast array of made-in-Nigeria products as well as some of the most sought-after and newly discovered international brands. The exhibition came with free seminars with case studies shared on how to access finance for growth, develop customer loyalty, build brand identity, improve in-store experience, as well as understand logistics security and standards to competing in the global market.
According to Kunle Hamzat, secretary of the Retail Council of Nigeria, the event came at the right time when economy is desperately in need for foreign investors.
“Interestingly, foreigners have chosen to partner. Also, various government agencies such as NAFDAC , SON, Consumer Protection Council, have partnered with Clarion Events West Africa to see that the economy expands through this platform. So, we are not just limiting yourself but thinking outside the box to make things happen,” Hamzat said.
“The status that should be accorded the retail business in Nigeria has actually not been given. Retail business is a complete industry by itself because everybody in the society, manufacturers inclusive, is all into retail businesses because at the end of the day, whatever you manufacture will go to the final consumer.
Therefore, you must be in interested in the consumer welfare. That is why we are collaborating, so that Nigeria can be stronger and the economy better,” he stated.
“Our life is defined by our life style. If you really want to live a good comfortable life, then you must have a soft spot for this kind of event,” Hamzat further said.
ODINAKA ANUDU & CHINYERE OKEKE