A new experience in shopping is unfolding in the Maryland axis of Lagos with the inauguration of a mall developed there by Purple Capital Partners Limited (PCPL), a specialist investment firm with business areas in principal investment, private equity and real estate.
Purple Capital Partners began financing and developing the N5 billion retail, lifestyle and entertainment complex barely three years ago.
Industry players said with this addition, Lagos was fast becoming Africa’s real estate and retail capital. “Despite the plethora of markets, street side shops and grocery stores across the state, social evidence suggests that residents still clamour for the modern, stress-free shopping experience.”
Declaring the Maryland Mall open for business, Mrs. Onikepo Akande, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said: “It is my sincere belief that this new mall will help to expose and grow the manufacturing and commercial potential of Lagos state and by extension, the national economy.
“Indeed, retail is one of the cornerstones of trading and investment, and Purple Capital, the developers of Maryland Mall, have done extremely well to give Maryland a new lease of life through this retail investment.”
The official commissioning of Maryland Mall is coming barely two months after Purple Capital attracted additional funding for the retail development in the form of a N800 million investment from asset management firm, AXA Mansard Investments Ltd.
As Nigeria’s industrial and commercial capital, Lagos is expected to lead the national count for modern shopping malls over the next decade, in tandem with the city’s fast growing population, currently put at anywhere between 17 and 20 million people.
Mr. Omotola Mobolurin, Chairman of Purple Capital Partners Limited said: “I am delighted about the safe arrival of this new retail, lifestyle and entertainment infrastructure, with the capacity to provide merchants and shoppers with amenities and services that befit the state’s mega-city status. It is particularly gratifying that the construction and financing for this retail development is being concluded on time and within projected funding estimates.”
Located where the defunct Maryland Shopping Center was once located, Maryland Mall sits on one of the most important arterial routes in Lagos today, with an estimated 5,000 cars passing through every hour. The mall sits on a total land size of 7,700sqm and will have the first dedicated underground car park within any mall in Nigeria. It will play host to a mix of local and international brands anchored by Shoprite, The Place restaurant, Stanbis IBTC Bank, amongst other retail, hospitality and entertainment brands.
The exterior of the mall will be a 550 square meter LED screen, the largest in Sub-Sahara Africa. This unique feature will set it apart from any other retail complex in Africa’s most populous nation.
Currently, only 2% of Nigerians shop in formal retail supermarkets compared to 60% of South Africans, 30% of Kenyans, 4% of Ghanaians and 2% of Cameroonians.
The Maryland area aptly illustrates the various realities of city life. Located right in the middle of mainland Lagos, Maryland has been a residential district and a hectic hub of social activities for decades: it is also an economic and commercial nerve center; a major intersection connecting citizens and visitors alike to the major thoroughfares across the city, and a perfect exhibit of the city’s quest for affordable, urban development.
Retail trade presently accounts for about 30 per cent of the world’s GDP (gross domestic product). This is about $22 trillion of retail sales each year. Official government data shows that Nigeria attracted over $1.5 billion in investments into its formal retail sector over the last three years. Available statistics also show that over 80 million Nigerians now live in metropolitan areas, creating huge opportunities for formal retail to thrive.
Lagos is currently home to several malls. Most of these malls are however located on the coastal, more affluent sections of the state – in the Ikoyi-Victoria Island-Lekki peninsula axis – commonly referred to as the Island. On the mainland side of Lagos are population heavy zones like Ojota, Oyingbo, Ojuelegba, Mile 2, Ikorodu and Ikeja, the state’s administrative capital which also has many residential cum commercial districts, like Agege, Ogba, Ojodu, and Maryland, among others.