By Chinwendu Obienyi
In a 2013 report, the global consulting firm, McKinsey, predicted that the retail sector would be Nigeria’s next chapter of emerging middle-class growth.
This growth, McKinsey said, would be “fueled by a new generation of Nigerian consumers” based on the fact that “wholesale and retail sales are already the third-largest contributors to Nigeria’s GDP, contributing 16 per cent to the total, albeit mostly through informal markets.”
The report anticipated an estimated growth opportunity of $40 billion in food and consumer goods in Nigeria between 2008 and 2020, the highest of any African nation at the time. However, another insight that stood out of that report is McKinsey’s analysis of Nigerian consumer behaviour, particularly the average retail shopper’s price sensitivity and love for deals.
But what if they didn’t have to choose between one or the other? What if Nigerians could consistently shop at reasonable prices in a truly inviting environment to create a unique shopping experience? The report also makes clear the rising demand for convenient and modern shopping experiences. As income levels rise and as the size of middle-class urban dwellers increases, so does the demand for “stores with a wide range of products and a comfortable environment”.
This is why Shoprite Nigeria has made it a goal to provide a world class shopping experience by providing convenience and exceptional delivery of quality goods.
In a bid to give the customers a memorable experience and appreciate the customers for continuous patronage, Shoprite ran its annual Black Friday sales between Friday, November 26, 2021 to Sunday November 28, 2021, offering attractive deals and gifts to shoppers in all its 25 stores across the country.
Speaking about the campaign, Chairman of Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited (RSNL), owners of Shoprite in Nigeria, Tayo Amusan, called it “a welcome breath of fresh air for many”, and, indeed, it was. Customers enjoyed massive discounts on various leading brands, with a number of them randomly selected to win “Golden Vouchers” that essentially guaranteed that all their Black Friday purchases at the store would be fully paid for at no cost to them.
Several customers also got their hands on Shoprite’s Black Friday hampers, each containing a carefully selected variety of products designed to make sure everyone received something worth their while.
For example, in the Ikeja City Mall branch, two shoppers won a N50,000 and a N39,000 golden voucher, respectively. The same thing happened in the Lekki and Festac branches, where two lucky shoppers won golden vouchers in each Shoprite outlet, much to their delight.
This unique Black Friday campaign is part of Shoprite Nigeria’s larger plan to make life easier for Nigerians by providing high-quality products at good price points.
This confirms the company’s commitment to helping bolster Nigeria’s economy and ultimately laying the building blocks that will secure the future of Nigeria’s retail sector, a significant contributor to the country’s economic well being.
We cannot downplay the positive impact of a growing retail sector on the economy. It impacts employment, investment, and lifestyle. Investing in the retail industry makes it easier to modernise an economy, as we are seeing with Nigeria’s and that of many emerging countries worldwide.
The more urbanised and developed a city becomes, the more likely we are to see shopping centres spring up, which directly raises the employment rates in that area.
We also see how a modern retail sector helps formalise the economy and contribute to the government’s revenue stream. On the one hand, it can be difficult to track income and revenue in the informal retail industry. However, thanks to modern retail and the investments pouring in, including the increased use of debit cards and electronic payment systems, revenue becomes easier to track, and taxes, by extension, become easier to pay.
Both of these contribute to helping the government run more smoothly and encourage social responsibility.
Campaigns like Shoprite’s Black Friday sales make all of these more possible. This campaign, in particular, stands out because it is the retail giant’s first since it successfully transitioned into a wholly Nigerian company.
Earlier this year, in June, Ketron Investment Limited, a Nigerian company owned by a group of local investors led by property firm Persianas Investment Ltd, acquired Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited (RSNL), owners of Shoprite in Nigeria, from its previous eponymous parent company, Shoprite Holdings. Initially, the report was met with skepticism much of which revolved around maintaining quality in service and goods.
However, as investment consultant Abiola Okueyungbo, points out, the fears were premature. He rightly points out that Shoprite was acquired by an investment company led by Tayo Amusan, a Nigerian with nearly 30 years of experience building successful businesses in Nigeria, from retail to real estate. Amusan’s Persianas is popularly known for building one of Nigeria’s most prominent malls to international standards, The Palms Shopping Mall in Lekki, Lagos.
A booming retail sector makes a country a more attractive investment destination. Countries like India, China, Morocco, Turkey, and Malaysia are developing into attractive retail investment destinations year on year, and we can say the same for Nigeria. Shoprite already operates 25 outlets in eight states across the country.
However, there is room for growth, given the massive potential within Nigeria’s growing middle-class and urban population.
The company also employs more than 10,000 people directly and indirectly, with 99 per cent being Nigerians and many more to be employed in the future.
However, beyond employing more Nigerians, the company is also actively building and solidifying relationships across the country to continually make a significant positive impact on the economy and the lives of everyday people.