By Azeez Abdulrauf
Thirty years after entering the Nigerian market, SPAR has inaugurated a new megastore outlet in Leisure Mall, Surulere, to offer choices to consumers. The new development has thus introduced a new trend to the competition among operators of shopping malls in the country. The store is the company’s eight outlet in Lagos and 14th in Nigeria.
Speaking at the event, the Marketing Managers of SPAR Nigeria, Emmanuel Isangediok, said the company understands the hypermarket chain in Nigeria better, having been around in the country for 30 years.
“You can see from our competitors that you can just get, maybe grocery items from their store: so from our own end you can get a lot of things other than grocery; that is why we are different,” he said.
According to Emmanuel, one important thing for consumers and any economy is choice, hence SPAR was providing a wider choice for consumers in Surulere to choose and shop.
“Consumers want a nice and well-secured environment to shop from – look at this place, it is well secured. Well, lit and more importantly is the choice without going from one trader to another; in one single place you get everything under one roof,” he stated.
Speaking further on the market competition the new SPAR outlet was going to create, Emmanuel opined that South Africa with population of 56 million has over 5000 modern stores; while Nigeria with a population of over 180 million, only have a handful of 100s modern stores.
“Looking at the development index of South Africa and Nigeria; Nigeria has a long way to go. Again, every SPAR store employs directly and indirectly close to 350/400 staff, therefore retail stores are big employment generator in any economy. In every developed economy, the biggest employer is not the government, it is the private sector, and the retail sector is critical to the development of any economy. Nigeria is currently playing catch up, and the market is so big enough to accommodate everyone without hampering each other,” he concludes.
Earlier, the chairman of Leisure Mall, Abiodun Balogun, while inaugurating the new outlet urged government to provide every necessary support needed to ease Foreign Direct Investment in the country.