“Shop well for less” is a cliché that describes current retailing trends characterized by declining consumer household spending and constantly shifting consumer demands. Today’s customers expect exceptional service quality at bargain price, delivered across multiple channels timeously and a growing population feeds the shopping frenzy. The evolving trend of local and foreign brands in structured retailing business in Nigeria is gradually phasing out the subsistence neighbourhood corner-stores retailing typology, and this suggests depth, unsaturated and immature retailing market in the country to accommodate the untapped opportunities following a growing and empowered population. However, as the industry matures, competition is likely to become fiercer and only those retailers that understand and prepare well will survive in the end.
The forces that will shape performance in the sector are location decisions, channel decisions and digitalization of customer's data to gain valuable insights about customer's behaviour. Economies of scale and operational efficiency embracing resource allocation decisions, work force training, scheduling and alignment decisions, inventory decisions, pricing, and communication decisions are equally strong factors. Cultivating alliance partners and effective supply chain management are also critical factors. Capacity to build organization-wide culture attributes on customer service, efficient distribution systems, good community service will continue to affirm and strengthen the brand. The sector will witness recurring transformations and retailers that fail to evolve a customer service culture and a keen awareness of the power of consumerism are likely to diminish their brand value.
The rapidly changing demographics, changing social values, increasing educational achievement and cultural transformation of the youthful population, and the expansion of the middle class are resulting to a generation of well-informed, sophisticated and mobile customers. Therefore, this growth market, with potentials for mid double-digit contribution to GDP and a good mix of generation X and the millennials, requires strategic handling. With a keen appreciation of the dynamics of the industry today and in the coming years., we want to be able to work and collaborate with clients in walking this journey to the next generation of retailing in Nigeria.