globe retail outlook data


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Growth in the Nigerian retail sector has been impressive following the opening of the first formal retail mall in 2005. Over the past decade, similar malls have opened in established cities such as Lagos and Abuja with a few others in less established cities i.e. Enugu, Kwara, Ibadan, Akwa Ibom and Port Harcourt.

Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and other cities in the south-east are key hubs for retail malls. However, although Port Harcourt is the oil and gas hub of Nigeria, the region has largely been neglected by retail investors as it has not experienced the retail development boom that Abuja and Lagos have experienced. Nonetheless, new projects in the pipeline are set to change this over the next 24 months.

In 2014, a shift in interest was noted with a focus on second-tier cities along with a renewed strategy to continue expanding in Abuja and Lagos. Gaining first movers advantage was a key driver for developers exploring retail malls in the smaller cities. Investors are also keen on supporting the expansion initiatives of various domestic and international brands in the country. However, the challenging macroeconomic environment which has persisted over the past 12-24 months has had an adverse effect on both retailers and developers. Given a slowdown in the economy, developers have decelerated their expansion plans across the country. Though the outlook is still positive, target completion dates for projects in the development pipeline may be pushed out further.

Consumer responsiveness to formal retail in second-tier cities has been mixed - many are not used to the system of a one-stop destination for all of their retail needs. It is however expected that Nigerians will adjust to this change over the next few years.

Meanwhile, retail developers in more established cities like Abuja and Lagos are taking location, tenant mix and size into a lot more consideration. Additionally, although some developers would like to develop malls larger than 25,000m², the pool of tenants available is insufficient for malls of this size.

The recently opened Jabi Lake Mall in Abuja, is set to become a major entry point for new retailers, in particular for many new global luxury brands, given the mall’s modern design and Abuja’s higher buying power. However, it is important to note, that leasing activity across the core and secondary locations has been slow over the past 12 – 24 months. FX and capital controls, instituted by the Central Bank of Nigeria, bottlenecks with respect to clearing goods at ports and higher rents have posed serious challenges for prospective tenants looking to enter the market as well as existing tenants looking to expand to newer malls. As such, spaces in recently completed malls are taking longer periods of time to be leased....

Our Top Tip For
New Arrivals

Visit Ikeja City Mall in Ikeja and The Palms in Lekki for the best retail experience in Lagos. For authentic local purchases head out to Balogun Market in Lagos Island.


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