On the 20th of March, Shoprite in Ado Bayero Mall in Kano finally opened its doors to the public despite growing security concerns in northern Nigeria.
Following an aggressive expansion drive, the South African retailer that has 1,800 outlets worldwide now has 8 malls in Nigeria and plans to open 4 more before year-end. The mall pictured below cost $110 million (N18.1b) to develop and is said to be the biggest mall in Nigeria at 24,000sqm, much bigger than The Palms (20,000sqm) and Ikeja City Mall which is of similar size in Lagos.
As Kano is the 2nd largest city in Nigeria by population, Shoprite and the developers of Ado Bayero Mall were more than keen on tapping into business opportunities that a large population can bring. It also goes hand in hand with Shoprite’s commitment to widen their presence in Nigerian mega cities. Other shops are set to open in the mall as the year progresses.
Amid security concerns and violent attacks many retailers and businesses have left the region for more peaceful parts of the country. But speaking on the matter the store manager Abdulhakeem Abdulganiyu told AFP.
“If we continue saying we will not come due to the prevailing security situation we will not move forward. All we need to do is make adequate provisions to overcome such challenges.” Such provisions included armed police officers watching over shoppers and private security guards searching vehicles for weapons and explosives before entry.
Nonetheless, chronic power shortages and international competition have made it difficult to do business in the region and this led to a staggering unemployment rate of 67% in 2011. Fortunately this mall has already brought ample opportunity for employment through construction and it will continue to do so through maintenance, security, management and a lot more.
We hope for the smooth running of what is now Nigeria’s largest mall! However, this will not remain so for too long. Strong foreign investor interest in the Nigerian real estate market along with favourable demographics mean that an increasing number of global retailers are pouring into the country and key regions like Abuja and Lagos have many malls coming in the next few years.
See our other post on Ado Bayero Mall. Have a look at some of the pictures from the opening day below.