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Buy Made in Nigeria Goods campaign: Expert urges FG on collaboration with the Retail sector
2017/06/29
Joseph

In order for the ‘Buy Made in Nigeria Goods’ campaign to achieve its aims, the federal government has been urged to collaborate with the Retail sector.

The President, Bervidson Retail Group, the Convener of the just concluded annul Retail Leaders Conference in Lagos, Mr. Joseph Ebata said this while delivering his welcome address titled “Seizing The Momentum, Building A Retail Brighter Future”

Ebata noted that ‘Buy Made in Nigeria Goods’ campaign cannot succeed without a meaningful and active support and collaboration with Retail to grow store footprint locally (and international).

He said that retail remains manufacturing’s biggest channel of distribution and best advocates of ‘Made in Nigeria Goods’.

“As a nation, our growth strategy cannot succeed without a sincere commitment to, inclusion of, collaboration with and support for retail industry development and growth. We therefore call on all stakeholders to rise up to the task of building a strong and prosperous Retail industry and nation. In this direction, I must not fail to commend Government for signing the recent Executive Orders, particularly the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and the most recent development at the Ports,” he said.

According to him, Nigeria is indeed a retailer’s delight with a population of about 170 million people, over 80 million people living in its urban areas.

Ebata revealed that with consumer spending well in excess of $100 billion a year and a fast-growing middle class, Nigeria is definitely the most promising retail market on the African continent.

“The retail industry in Nigeria is transforming and has become the delightsome bride of many entrepreneurs, particularly international retailers and investors seeking to do business in Africa. Nationally, there is momentum on the side of Retail to become the engine of our national economic growth especially as the government actively seek to reposition the nation with emphasis on diversification of the economy. What is required is for all stakeholders including and particularly government to support the industry and guide it along the best transformation path so retail can achieve its full potentials -contributions to national employment and GDP and growth. However, there are many challenges that the industry is dealing with,” Ebata noted.

He said that as Nigeria actively drives the diversification of the economy, Retail is driving urban regeneration with Ultra-Modern International Mall springing forth in all key cities of Nigeria, noting that with leisure and social opportunities, the Nigerian Retail landscape is evolving to provide lifestyle options that drives economic velocity and leads to urban transformation.

Modern trade according to him has remerged (grown by 12.5 CAGR over the last 15 years), while traditional trade is evolving with Open Markets becoming ultra-modern markets and growing.

Experts chart path to growth for Retail sector in Nigeria
2017/06/29
Joseph

Experts that gathered at the just concluded 4th edition of the annual Retail Leaders Conference in Lagos have called on all stakeholders, particularly government to support the industry and guide it along the best transformation path so that retail can achieve its full potentials and contribute immensely to national employment and Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of Nigeria.

They implored Federal Government to provide basic infrastructures in order for the sector to fulfil its full potentials, emphasising that retail markets hold great potential to address the high unemployment rate in the country.

Seizing the momentum and building a retail brighter future

The President, Bervidson Retail Group, the convener of the conference, Mr. Joseph Ebata while delivering his welcome address on this above topic said the Retail industry in Nigeria has its story of a proud past and a bright future.

According to him, retail in Nigeria is evolving (as in most emerging economies) into the key driver and enabler of economic growth, adding that modern trade has remerged and grown by 12.5 CAGR over the last 15 years.

“Traditional trade is evolving (with Open Markets becoming ultra-modern markets) and growing. As Nigeria actively drives the diversification of the Economy, Retail is driving urban regeneration with Ultra-Modern International Mall springing forth in all Key Cities of Nigeria. With leisure and social opportunities, the Nigerian Retail landscape is evolving to provide lifestyle options that drives economic velocity and leads to urban transformation,” he said.

Ebata noted that Nigeria is indeed a retailer’s delight with a population of about 170 million people, over 80 million people living in its urban areas, consumer spending in excess of about $100 billion a year and a fast-growing middle class is definitely the most promising market on the African continent.

The retail industry in Nigeria, according to him is transforming and has become the delightsome bride of many entrepreneurs, particularly international retailers and investors seeking to do business in Africa.

He further stated that; “nationally there is momentum on the side of retail to become the engine of our national economic growth especially as the government actively seek to reposition the nation with emphasis on diversification of the economy. What is required is for all stakeholders including and particularly government to support the industry and guide it along the best transformation path so retail can achieve its full potentials -contributions to national employment and GDP and growth. 

However, there are many challenges that the industry is dealing with.

High interest rate, major killer of Nigeria retail sector

The President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Prof. Segun Ajibola, while speaking on the topic” Enhancing Retail: Bank Synergy for Greater Value Maximisation”,   identified high interest rate as the major killer of the Nigeria retail sector.

Ajibola said that the current interest rate regime in the country is not in supportive of the growth of the retail sector adding that banks now lend at the rate between 26 to 28 percent.

He urged the federal government to look into this issue and find a lasting solution that will benefit both the retail sector and the banks.

According to him, the concept of retailing started through street hacker, saying that street trading promotes retailing in Nigeria.

Nigeria, according to him is now transiting from traditional retail setting to a mega malls with South 

Africa Shoprite setting the pace.

Ajibola said Africa continues to established itself as the new retail frontier with a population of over 1.03 billion (15 percent of global population ), retail spending of almost $0.9 trillion (N144trillion) in 2013 and $1.8trillion economy which is expected to grow by 5.3 percent in 2014, stating that Africa is gradually becoming force to reckon. 

He identified poor infrastructure base, forex instability, legal system and inadequate security as the other factors militating against retail sector Nigeria. 

“For the efficient and functioning of the retail market in Nigeria, stakeholders support is essential. Banking sector being the lifeblood of any economy has a central role to play. Public and private partnership arrangement in infrastructural development is needed,” he said.

Ajibola noted that there is a need for funding support for Nigerian retailers, particularly made in Nigeria product.

According to Ajibola, “the retail market holds great potentials to address the high employment rate in the country. These potentials would only be realised if all stakeholders, public and private provide the environment for this sector. A win-win situation can be achieved between the banking industry and the retail sector through the development of tailor-made products and serviceable banks for the retail sector. Regular knowledge sharing platforms should be created between the banking industry and the retail sector for stakeholders to understand each party with a view to jointly work out modalities for addressing them.”He said the banking sector must be there to be partnership in progress for the retail sector.

Retail and Nigerian Made Goods: An unexploited Goldmine

Speaking on this above topic at the conference, the former Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Industry (BOI) Mr Waheed Olagunju disclosed that retail in Nigeria contribute 7 percent to national employment, noting that Nigeria has the largest mobile supermarkets in the world.

Olagunju who was represented by BOI Divisional Head (South), Small and Medium Enterprises, Abdul-Ganiyu Mohammed said demand for locally made product will increase when adequate measures are put in place.

While speaking on how profitable growth in Nigeria’s retail sector can be unlocked, Olagunju advised retailers to constantly strive to understand their customers.

He stated further that; “ retailers need to define their proposition and ensure it stays relevant, make customers experience seamless, fast and efficient across their channels, invest in quality and technology and drive decisions through continuous analysis.

According to him, ease of doing business, taxation and protection of properties are part of some roles of government in retail sector. 

Olagunju who called for capacity building programme for bankers on funding of the retail sector, also agitate for support for Nigerian retailers, particularly made in Nigeria product.

“The retail market holds great potentials to address the high unemployment rate in the country. These potentials would only be realized if all stakeholders, both public and private provide a suitable environment for this sector. A win-win situation can be achieved between the banking industry and the retail sector through the development of tailor-made products and services by banks for the retail sector. Regular knowledge sharing platforms should be created between the banking industry and the retail sector for stakeholders to understand each party with a view to jointly working out modalities for addressing them,” he said.

Retail sector has the capacity to absorb unemployed youths 

Speaking at the conference on the topic, “Supporting Retail to Create Economic Momentum,” Consul General, South Africa Consulate, Darkey Africa said the retail sector has the capacity to absorb young people and solve problems of unemployment.

He said that there is link between infrastructure and the performance of the retail sector, adding that government must ensure that infrastructures needed by the sector to fulfil its potentials are provided. 

He said that the next chapter of emerging middle class growth will be the retail sector fueled by a new generation of Nigerian consumers. 

Govt should carry stakeholders along in policy formation 

The Founder/ Chief Executive Officer of SLOT Limited, Mr. Nnamdi Ezeigbo urged governments at different levels to carry stakeholders in the sector along in policy formation.

Ezeigbo also said that the major factors affecting the retail in Nigeria are external and internal challenges, adding that retailers should focus mainly on how they can solve their internal challenges.

He stated that the challenges of the sectors are cost of finance, cost of real estate, government policies, volatility of forex, geographical uncertainty, unstructured business environment, poor regulator, multiple taxation and infrastructural challenges among others. 

According to Ezeigbo, “the Nigeria retail market through any of the following factors can generate huge economic growth. The factors are foreign investment, franchising as a new space, joint venture, manufacturing in Nigeria, rising population density (creating new markets and new shopping experience), banking services and various payment options.”

Retail sector suffers 2.7% drop in customer spending

The Regional Managing Partner Ernst & Young (EY) West Africa, Mr. Henry Egbiki while delivering a paper on the topic “Retailing in a Post-Recession Economy- New Market Realities and Business” said in year 2016, the retail sector in Nigeria suffered 2.7 percent drop in customer spending.

Egbiki who was represented by Mr. Damilola Aloba revealed that the drop in customer spending was caused by high inflation and weak labour market.

He disclosed that there was slowdown in new market entrants, adding that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) declined by 27.2% in 2016 to $1billion.

While speaking on the future expectation of retail sector, Egbiki said working age population is expected to constitute over 50 percent of the population through year 2030.

According to him, consumer spending is expected to increase by $50billion during 2010 to 2030, adding that per capital income is expected to reach $4.5billion by 2030.

Nigerian Retail Growth Opportunities and Strategies

The Managing Director East and West Africa, Nielsen Mr Abhik Gupta while speaking on the above topic said that the major reason why some brands failed in Africa is that those brands fail to distinguish themselves from others.

He noted that much of the growth being witnessed today in the retail sector is due to the trend of migration from rural areas toward cities where job opportunities are more plentiful. 

Speaking on the strategies to win in retail, Abhik said that retailers should understand that shoppers’ 

expectations will continue to change, adding that they must be prepared to meet up with these expectations.

He advised retailers to expect competition from new and unexpected direction.

Abhik also advised retailers to match shoppers’ mission with online  and offline offering, emphasising that they need to work on their online because that is the meeting point of today’s generation.

Technology is the backbone of all retail operation

Speaking at the special workshop of the conference, the Founder of Ruff ‘n’ Tumble Mrs. Adenike Ogunlesi said that technology is indeed the backbone of all nowadays retail operation.

Ogunlesi stated that merchandising and technology, financial planning and forecasting are part of the major strategies retailers can adopt to bring customers to their stores. 

According to her, other strategies are; category and data management, merchandise allocation, store grading, modelling and space planning, merchandise replenishment, pricing and markdowns.      

She said that there is a need for retailers to know their customers and effective way to communicate with them.

76% of internet traffic comes through mobile

While speaking on driving retail outlet through mobile technology, the Founder/ Chief Executive Officer of iConcepts, Mr. Ugo Okoye said that 76 percent of internet traffic comes through mobile, saying that retailers should make use of this medium to take their products to their consumers.

He said that retail stores that want to survive in this technology age must think about driving sales through mobile technology because 82 percent of smart phones users turns to their phones even while in stores, 98 percent of sms are read, 29 percent of tweets are read and 20 percent of emails are opened.  

Retailers must understand their target audience and give them what they need

The Chief Executive Officer of Dressmeoutlet.com Mrs. Olatorera Oniru said at the conference that retailers must understand their target audience and give them what they need.

She also disclosed that 99 percent of Africans wear cloth, but we did not produce up to 95 percent of what we wear in Africa.

While noting that collaboration is a big part in retail, Oniru said collaboration has been part of their business at Dressmeoutlet.com.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW! Retail sector needs adequate funding to survive- CIBN President
2017/06/29
Joseph

In this exclusive interview with the Editor of BrandInfo, OLUWAGBENGA BANKOLE at the just concluded 4th edition of the annual Retail Leaders Conference in Lagos, the President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Prof. Segun Ajibola speaks on why we should consume what we produce and produce what we consume in Nigeria, proliferation of shopping malls in the country and other typical issues. Excerpt !

You made some thought provoking statement while delivering your paper. One of the things you said was that we should consume what we produce and produce what we consume in Nigeria. Kindly throw more light on this?

It is a mentality problem. We grew up accepting some elements of inferiority in almost every aspect of our lives which cut across our consumption pattern. We believe that anything that is made in Nigeria is inferior and anything that is imported is superior. However, experience has proved that it is not correct. We have some made in Nigeria consumer product that in every sense superior to what we import into this country. When we import, either direct or indirectly, officially or unofficially, it is a drain on our foreign exchange reserve. If we conserve that and we now emphasise on consumption of those thing we make in Nigeria, either consumer durables or consumer nondurable, we will save foreign exchange. We can divert such saving into expanding our production base. It will generate employments, add to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and provide some elements of social security for our people through what is actually refer to as multiplier effect. It would have so many effects on the economy of the country. One particular line of business development would give rise to the development of some other lines of business that are tied to that major line of business. That is the multiplier effect. These are the things we can gain if we shift our paradigms and embrace the culture of consuming what we produce and producing what we consume as a nation. That is what we are canvassing here today.

In your speech you also clamour for the traditional form of retailing. We have seen the proliferation of super malls which is threatening the proliferation of our traditional retail outlets. What is your position on this?

Because of the growing cosmopolitan nature of our cities, level of education and illiteracy of our people, we cannot run away from embracing shopping malls or having the kind of supermarket we have today. However, that should not be at the expense of our traditional market system. We can still make do with the likes of Mile 12 market, Oyingbo market, etc. where I am sure I can buy fresh agricultural commodities. Rather than government harassing our traditional marketers, they should look for ways of developing those markets. Government should encourage the operators of those markets by providing infrastructurer facilities. It is so pathetic that those traditional markets are being destroyed or relocated by government. For me it is an assault on our traditional culture. I believe we can do better by looking for ways of preserving that kind of market system which is what we grew up with as part of our tradition and culture.

ALSO READ: High interest rate, major killer of Nigeria retail sector- CIBN President 

http://www.brandinfo.com.ng/2017/06/high-interest-rate-major-killer-of.html

Let us look at the current position of the banking sector. CBN came under your hammer today when you said they don’t take responsibility for the failure of intervention funds. Can you throw more light on this?

That is the question of who carry the risk of loss arising from such lending. If you are lending to SMEs of retail operators, and for whatever reason that loan becomes tortured, who bear the risk of the loss? Banks are commercial entities. It is a thing of joy that all stakeholders admitted that this is an issue at the recent stakeholders engagement in the National Assembly. CBN and commercial banks admit that it is an issue including National Assembly itself. Everybody is now looking at the best way to approach the management of the risk occasion by lending to those sectors. Will it be shared responsibilities on the part of the regulator and operators? Will it be through some forms of concessions? I think is a work in progress, but definitely it is a problem in our environment today. Banks are running away from intervention fund because they don’t want to carry the 100 percent risk of loss. You can appreciate or sympathise with them because they are struggling to preserve the shareholders’ funds. The retail sector of our national economy is yearning for funding and support. There must be solution coming from all stakeholders.

Stakeholders must position retail as next economic driver
2017/06/29
Joseph

Currently contributing about 18 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which translates to about $38.8 billion, and grossing a total national sale of about N38 trillion in 2016, experts said the retail sector could become the next economic driver in Nigeria if inherent challenges are tackled.

The experts, who gathered at the fourth edition of the Retail Leaders Conference in Lagos, insisted that a plethora of challenges have continued to cripple the growth of the sector thereby limiting projected opportunities, particularly in the areas of job creation and economic benefits.

While the global retail sector adds above 25 per cent to world’s GDP, translating to about $19 trillion of retail sales yearly, with about 800 million people employed, poor operating environment, security challenges, poor infrastructure, forex instability, high cost of borrowing, limited distribution network, expensive real estate and other challenges were highlighted as bane of the sector.

Speaking at the event, the President and Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Prof. Segun Ajibola, said there was a need for the retail sector to form synergy with financial institutions, be properly funded, with adequate capacity building otherwise the sector may miss out on future benefits, as the global sector has been projected to hit $11.4 trillion by 2030.

Ajibola, who said the retail sector could address growing unemployment in Nigeria, said the country’s population and the rapidly growing middle class as well as polices against street trading, government’s desire to formalise the sector for tax purposes would continue to make retailing a major driver of the economy.

He, however, tasked government to develop traditional market places and not let the advent of malls force the traditional markets out of business.The Executive Director, (SME), Bank of Industry, Waheed Olagunju, said tackling challenges of the manufacturing sector would further benefit the retail sector as huge losses from importation and job would be reversed.

Represented by the company’s General Manager (SME-South), Abdul-Ganiyu Mohammed, Olagunju said patronising made-in-Nigeria goods would spur the local economy, create job security, strengthen the naira, increase raw material processing, increase innovation, and make local businesses to give back.

“Demand for indigenous products will increase when market mechanics such as quality assurance, product awareness, price regulation and consumer protection are ensured,” he stated.

The President, Bervidson Retail Group, Joseph Ebata, said the retail sector remained key to the success of the campaign of buy made-in-Nigeria goods, adding that the goods must be good and remain of good quality to meet international standards.

Ebata said the conference, which was titled, “Supporting Retail: The Next Driver of Nigeria’s Economic Growth,” has continued to stimulate support for the retail sector from all stakeholders, particularly the government.Considering the current economic challenges confronting the country, Ebata said prioritising the sector would reposition the nation’s ailing economy.

Retail sector worst hit by economic recession – Ebata
2017/06/29
Joseph

he President, Bervidson Retail Group, Mr. Joseph Ebata, in this interview with ’FEMI ASU, highlights the need to reposition the nation’s retail sector and maximise its potential for economic growth and development

What are your thoughts on the retail sector in Nigeria and its significance to economic growth and development?

Nigeria is a retailer’s delight any day considering the population size of the country and the second, which is critical to retail, is the size of the middle class. The middle size in Nigeria is growing; today, it is put at about 80 million people, and the urban centres are also growing. With the coming of international malls into the Nigerian retail space, the sector has taken a new turn. So, it is growing; modern trade has re-emerged and grown by 12.5 per cent compound annual growth rate over the last 15 years up to 2014. I will say that the sector is transforming and emerging; it is set to become a major contributor to national economic development. In terms of contribution to employment and the Gross Domestic Product, the sector is waking up and is ready to support economic growth.

Globally, retail plays a dual role as a key driver and as a catalyst of world economic growth. As a driver, it contributes $19tn to the global GDP, representing 27 per cent of global output and employs more than 17 per cent of the global workforce. As a catalyst, it is the point where supply meets demand, and it is how goods and service reach the final point of exchange.

As Nigeria actively drives the diversification of the economy, retail is driving urban regeneration with ultra-modern international malls springing forth in all key cities of Nigeria. With leisure and social opportunities, the Nigerian retail landscape is evolving to provide lifestyle options that drives economic velocity and leads to urban transformation.

Retail contributed 16 to 18 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP in 2010 with a size of $38.8bn. It attracted investment of N205.4bn ($1.3bn) between 2014 and 2015, growing at a CAGR of 14 per cent. Retail contributes about seven per cent to national employment in Nigeria. When compared with retail’s contribution to global employment of more than 17 per cent, it clearly shows the huge potential of retail to support government’s effort in solving the county’s unemployment challenge.

How would you describe the impact of the nation’s first recession in 25 years on the sector?

Retail has been the worst hit by the current tightness in the financial industry and the high exchange rate. For a long time, the exchange rate was high and unstable, and so the ability to continue to import was hampered. For most retailers, it’s been a battle for survival with many retailers taking drastic measures to ensure their survival by cutting costs, labour, reducing store footprint, limiting product stock keeping unit, and tightening up supply chains.

Growth was limited; survival was the key issue for them. Some simply adopted a wait-and-see attitude, while some have closed down. It has been a challenging and tough time for retail businesses. Some retailers who had foresight and insight have restructured their supply chain and logistics; some even went as far as renegotiating rent and creating various options of rent payment. So, the impact has been heavy on retail.

The truth is that everybody is doing investment for the purpose of being able to get good returns on the investment. With the exchange rate spiralling out of control at a time, foreign investors were careful. Foreign direct investment in the country has dropped drastically. The number of mall construction between in 2015 and 2016 compared to before then has reduced. For the current malls not many retailers are able to off-take them in terms of the spaces.

Despite the challenges facing the sector, are there any positive developments happening now?The future of the retail sector is bright, again considering the size of the population, the policies emanating from the government in the last few years, such as the cashless policy and the attempt to mobilise open markets and restructure them into Western-style malls. These will continue to support retail for the future to come. As more international investors come into the space, we expect that it will rob off on the locals and there will be changes. Now, with the middle class also increasing, we expect that consumption will rise. All the sector needs is support from key stakeholders to solve the many challenges that we have that will stop the international investors from coming and the locals from growing.

What will you describe as the major challenges that the sector faces?First will be access to finance; second is capacity development; third is adoption of international best practices, which is largely lacking in the country; poor business structure and government policies that have been very inimical to the success of retail in Nigeria, including multiple taxation and bureaucracy at the ports, and counterfeit goods coming into the country. If we can address these challenges and many more, the sector will be on its way to fulfilling its potential.

The first thing the government and other key stakeholders need to do is to have a vision and strategy for the sector. The second is for the government to look at policies that will make funding available to the sector. For instance, we have so much locked up in pension funds to the tune of about N5tn. How can we make it accessible to retail? Retail has the capacity to drive our national economic growth.

As a former banker, I would say that both retailers and bankers should engage each other more. Bankers must develop a new mind-set borne out of a thorough understanding of the issues, challenges and opportunities in retail. They must understand the key performance indicators critical to retail success, as well as how to measure and use loan assessment. They must be willing to invest in capacity building for retailers that will in turn enhance the ability of retailers to conduct successful business operations based on best practices. The bank that is willing to make this investment will ultimately become the bride of the retail industry.

Retailers, on the other hand, must engage banks with well thought-out demand. They must be willing to invest in themselves and employees to understand what banks are looking for to become comfortable when supporting the retailer. The lip service of being a retail bank must give way to reality.

What do you seek to achieve with the Retail Leaders’ Conference that you convene every year?

When the concept of the conference was conceived, the whole idea was to draw the attention of everybody playing in the retail space and other stakeholders to the transformation going on in the sector and drive the process of proffering solutions to the challenges in the sector. I think over the years, we have been working to achieve that. Retail in Nigeria is heavily fragmented and we saw the need to create a platform where everybody could come together and have a unified voice to speak to the government, policymakers and other stakeholders. And I think the conference, over the years, has done that. This year’s edition is the fourth and is scheduled for next month in Lagos.

We expect this year’s edition to build on the successes of past editions. Our focus is on galvanising support for the retail sector from all stakeholders, particularly the government. This year’s conference comes against the backdrop of the current national economic challenge. With the government actively trying to reposition the economy, this conference will show retail as the key sector that is set to become a key driver of our national economic growth.

If we really want to support the campaign of buy made-in-Nigeria goods, I think it is important to support retail. I believe the made-in-Nigeria goods must be good; the quality must be international standards. Once we can guarantee the quality, then we can safely put them side by side with the international goods, and then consumers will be the judge. I think if the products are good enough, people will willingly buy them. There is a need to intensify this campaign and support local retailers to do more.

If the sector must survive and thrive to play the role of a key driver of national economic growth, the current arrangement must change. This conference will draw the attention of stakeholders to the issues in the sector, address them and adopt solution to set retail on the journey to fulfilling its potential.

How Govt can transform retail industry in Nigeria- Joseph Ebata
2017/06/29
Joseph

In order for the retail industry in Nigeria to be transformed, the Federal Government has been urged to have a vision and strategy that is retail centric.

The President/ Chief Executive Officer of Bervidson Retail Group, convener of ‘The Retail Leaders Conference,’ Mr. Joseph Ebata made this known in an exclusive interview with BRANDINFO.

Ebata said that governments at different levels need to formulate policies in order for retail industry in Nigeria to fulfill its potentials.

“We need policy that will include retail business studies in our tertiary institution’s curriculum, policy that will improve clearing of goods from the ports, policies that will eradicate multiple taxation, policy on land use reforms to make real estate more accessible to retailers, policies on ease of doing business in Nigeria for foreign investors and policies that will support retail to promote the buy made-in-Nigeria goods,” he said. 

When being asked whether Nigeria retail industry is receiving enough support from the banks, Ebata said; “the temptation would be to say no ! As a former Banker, I would say that both retailers and Bankers should engage each other more.  Bankers must develop a new mind-set borne out of a thorough understanding of the issues, challenges and opportunities in retail. They must understand the KPIs critical to retail success, how to measure and use in loan assessment. They must be willing to invest in capacity building for retailers that will in turn enhance the ability of retailers to conduct success business operation based on best practices. The bank that is willing to make this investment will ultimately become the bride of the retail industry.”

“Retailers on the other hand must engage banks with well thought through demand. They must be willing to invest in themselves and employees to understand what banks are looking for to become comfortable when supporting the retailer. The lip service of being a retail bank must give way to reality.”   

While speaking on 2017 Retail Leaders Conference which is the 4th edition, Ebata explained that; “we expect this year’s edition to build on the successes of past editions.  Our focus is on galvanising support for the retail industry from all stakeholders, particularly the government.   This year’s conference comes against the backdrop of the current national economic challenge. With the government actively trying to reposition the economy, this Conference will show retail as the key sector that is set to become a key driver of our national economic growth.”

 

OMNI CHANNEL RISING GIVES BIRTH TO E-COMMERCE OPPORTUNITIES
2017/06/05
Joseph

Growing Mobile, Smartphone, Internet penetration and transacting is giving rise for E-Commerce retailers to leapfrog the conventional bricks and mortar development. Given the challenges of establishing physical stores in traditional trade environments, online retailing has the opportunity to provide seamless retail experiences and access to products not widely available. Aspirant consumers are rapidly adopting e-retailing as a viable addition to in-store shopping, with growing penetration across durable and consumable categories.

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