Stakeholders in the Nigeria retail industry have constantly sought to stay abreast with trends in the industry, locally and internationally. Fueling this is stakeholders quest to understand better the behaviour and preferences of today’s modern shopper and thus be better prepared to meet his needs as well as leave him with a memorable experience.
Understanding the current trend in the Nigeria retail market was the focus of discussions at a recent conference of stakeholders put together by Nielsen Nigeria in Lagos. The conference which was tagged “Shopper and Retail World” had in attendance stakeholders from the Retail Industry who spoke on the need for Data analysis and how important it is at evaluating growth within the Industry.
According to a report put together by Nielsen Nigeria, there has been a phenomenal increase in the number of retail outlets in Nigeria from 800,000 to 1.2 million between 2014 and 2017, an increase that has been attributed to the growing rate of unemployment in Nigeria which has forced many unemployed to become entrepreneurs. This increase was found to be more prevalent in traditional, convenience and neighborhood retailing concepts.
Worthy of note is the fact that many Nigerians still frequent the traditional markets for their purchases, the associated inconveniences of this channel notwithstanding.
However, further analysis by Nielsen Nigeria showed that regardless of the growing traditional style retailing, modern trade formats like supermarkets and malls are breaking out on a daily to offer shoppers a more fulfilled and worthwhile shopping experience.
Speaking with Abhik Gupta, the Managing Direction, West African Cluster Nielsen, “the purpose of the conference is to present to our manufacturers and retail clients our view of what is happening within the retail space, how shoppers are reacting to the changes in the environment and the different market dynamics. We are here today to present insights from the retail information that we collected from our feasibility studies about the shopper trends. The study is intended to give a holistic view of what the current shopping dynamics in Nigeria are and what could influence the market in the years to come”.
The event also tackled some of the challenges the Retail Industry is currently facing and how these challenges could be managed. According to Mr Joseph Ebata, President of Bervidson Retail Group, “Some of the internal to retail issues that industry practitioners must pay attention to retail include: having a unified customer experience across the various channels, building brand loyalty among consumers, and making sense of the huge data collected through data analytics, and using the insights derived to drive successful execution. The other of course is the issue of human capacity development and staff professionalism, an area that industry stakeholder, particularly vendors (suppliers to retail) must support retailers to address.” Speaking futher, Mr Ebata said, “Addressing these issues requires a new thinking driven by a collaborative mind-set among stakeholders”.
Also speaking on how the challenges within the Industry can be overcome, Mr Ade Adeshina, General Manager Addide said, “Some of the challenges can be solved by the Government. For example, the operational cost can be reduced if power supply is constant and Government taxes are reduced. Since most retailers employ lots of manpower, the industry can be encouraged if the Governments give a rebate on the taxes and if the taxes are reduced the industry can have lots of capital to play around with and expand business operation, and also employ people within Retail”.