A case has been made for the Federal Government to support the Nigerian electronic(e) commerce retail industry in terms of structure and investment.
The e-commerce retail industry has witnessed significant growth within the last five years in Nigeria, with industry watchers speculating further growth in a few years with the entrance of online retailers such as Jumia, Konga and Sabunta.
However, the industry, currently valued at about N7 billion annually, is yet to receive boost or support from the government in terms of structure or investment.
The Managing Partner at Hudson & Idowu, Mr. Tomiwa Idowu, has said the government must support the growth of e-commerce in the country, via-à-vis the boost coming from international investors who see potential in the industry by virtue of the large market size.
“The retail landscape in Nigeria is widening and this is as a result of a strong, growing middle class. We are moving from a needs economy to a wants economy where consumers are now better positioned to acquire luxury items such as super cars, expensive jewelries, leather goods, fine dining among others. There has been a continued influx of international brands into the country across various sectors such as General merchandise, Food, Automobile and Fashion,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria, which is Africa’s largest consumer market, needs to develop a working structure for its retail industry in order to fully realise the existing potential and outstrip South Africa from its leadership position on the continent.
Idowu further stated that as Africa’s largest consumer market, Nigeria has become very attractive to foreign retailers and investors and called on the government to also be a partaker in the sector.
He explained that Jumia, the online retail giant led by Dotun Kehinde which has created a platform for consumers to order goods from the comfort of their homes with the option of paying online or paying in cash upon delivery, received funding from an international investment bank JP Morgan in 2012 and has since entrenched itself deeper in the Nigerian retail industry.
“Okunoren, the clothing company in the country is said to also received some funding from private international investors in 2012 while Tiffany Amber, a high-end women’s wear label run by Folake Coker with its flagship store at the Palms shopping mall, also have private investors to name but a few,” he said.