August 5, 2017

ei Report: Boom & Bust – The past, present and future of Nigerian retail

Dolapo Omidire

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Hacking the African retail sector has been a significant driver of investment activity in the region over the last decade. Every piece of literature regarding Sub-Saharan Africa and the ever-prominent Africa Rising narrative points to the continent’s large rapidly urbanising population, young demography and its now disputed rising middle class.

The investment activity discussed, has been centered around creating ways for businesses to provide services to the largely growing population, with promises of great success and superior returns once this is finally achieved.

Enter Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy and a population en route to becoming the 3rd largest globally after China and India by 2050 and the opportunity was even greater. This apparent opportunity put together with the historic undersupply of commercial real estate, sold the perfect opportunity to property investors worldwide.

This report describes the 12-year journey of the Nigerian retail sector from 2004 to 2016, focusing on the shopping centre developments actualised and their respective investors as they allocated capital and experienced the first boom and bust. The journey, split into 5 key eras, describes each distinct period based on the activity within it.

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