Nigeria flag Nigeria: Buying and Selling

The distribution network in Nigeria

Evolution of the Sector
According to 2015 Mc Kinsey report, wholesale and retail sales are already the third largest contributors to Nigeria’s GDP, contributing 16% to the total, albeit mostly through informal markets. Real GDP (2005 based) is growing at an accelerated rate of 7% (compound annual growth rate) and is expected to hit $294 billion by 2020.

The Nigerian retail market is highly fragmented and is mainly based on the informal sector. Modern retailing is considered alien to the Nigerian business landscape, constituting between five and six percent of the total market value, which is considered as traditional in the nature. However with the lifting of the textile importation ban, more international retail companies have been reaching the country. With regards to the food industry, the country has few supermarkets and about a dozen shopping centres (malls) located in major cities.

With 189m consumers in the country, there is ample room for growth, but navigating domestic hurdles has proven difficult. Currency depreciation and rising inflation, combined with a recession in 2016 and an increase in parallel market activity, have made the future of the retail industry difficult to predict. Nigeria’s recent economic troubles have had an impact on the immediate prospects for retailers, but these challenges do not weaken the long-term potential of the sector thanks to the country’s tantalising demographics. Nigeria retail sales dropped by 16% in 2017 to 105 billion from 125 billion recorded in 2016 according to AT Kearney’s 2017 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) report.
Market share
The traditional industry leaders are large retail chains such as Shoprite, The Game, SPAR Nigeria, Woolworths, Mr Price, Hawes & Curtis. Shoprite, the South African retailer that opened its doors in 2005 in Nigeria, plans to open several new stores and spend more than $200 million on property development in Nigeria'. Online retailers have also emerged, such as Jumia, Konga and Sabunta. 
Retail Sector Organisations
Association of Nigerian Exporters (ANE)
Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce
Retail Association of Nigeria

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Latest Update: May 2024