Nigeria: Africa Gets Ready for the First Luxury E-Commerce Platform

Lagos is a Los Angeles of Africa. Home to a infancy of a continent’s abounding and famous, gated communities, a abounding film courtesy nicknamed Nollywood, and a Motherland’s biggest consumers of champagne. A city where engineer labels matter, a automobile we expostulate (or get chauffeured in) affects your amicable rank, and smart hotspots are appearing on a theatre on a consistent basement (rumor has it, Dubai-based genuine estate organisation Emaar is now constructing Africa’s initial Nobu grill in a former Nigerian capital). Despite a financial hardships Nigeria is confronting – mostly shabby by a dump in wanton oil prices – economists envision a country’s economy will grow a medium 1.3% over a year 2017. Devaluation of the local banking or not, inner appetites for oppulance conform products have remained clearly unaffected.

Polo Luxury headquarters. (Ph: Polo)

When Nigeria’s well-heeled are in for a offered debauch but jetting off to London, they mostly spin to a services of Polo Luxury: The Nigeria-headquartered holding association that operates opposite a West Africa segment by mixed oppulance sell outlets. Founded by John Obayuwana in 1991, Polo is a usually certified tradesman in a segment for brands including Rolex, Hublot, Cartier, Gucci and Dolce Gabbana.

“My father was a initial to pierce oppulance to Nigeria 30 years ago. He had an extraordinary store on a mainland where he would sell Fendi watches and Patek Philippe. Watches are still a biggest and many profitable association asset,” Jennifer Obayuwana tells me. She’s Executive Director of a association founded by her father. Polo Limited is a categorical income builder inside a Polo Luxury entity. It’s specialized in retailing oppulance watches, essay instruments and leather products to a primarily masculine audience. In 2014 another bend was combined to a holding company: Polo Avenue, a brainchild of Jennifer Obayuwana, where oppulance handbags, boots and luggage take core stage. Located on Lagos’ some-more upscale Victoria Island, a store that non-stop a doors 3 years ago is a dark gem inside a Polo Luxury headquarters’ initial floor. Brands including Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo, Balenciaga, and newcomers such as Les Petits Joueurs and Giannico, are any partial of a Polo Avenue mix.

“Nigerians are really brand-conscious, so it’s harder to sell an rising brand. What we’ll do is, pull these younger brands some-more around amicable media and then, of course, there is word-of-mouth. It can be tough during times as many clients usually wish to hang with a classical oppulance brands. The determined brands flattering most sell themselves. Right now a Gucci Dionysus bags are offered like hotcakes,” a Polo Luxury Executive Director explains.

Jennifer Obayuwana. (Ph: Polo)

Besides a Gucci, Polo Avenue’s categorical captivate is a owner and Polo Luxury Executive Director, Jennifer Obayuwana. Considered a inner character idol and open figure, a immature businessman has amassed an Instagram following surpassing 130K. Said Instagram comment embodies a form of abounding lifestyle that is a soppy dream to copiousness of millennials: an abounding collection of Hermès bags, an enviable engineer wardrobe, trips overseas, a occasional helicopter ride, and summers in a south of France. On a yacht. A selling plan that has even garnered a courtesy of UK-based TV producers, who’ve approached Obayuwana in a past to combine on a Rich Kids-like radio format. Obayuwana declined a offer.

While on a job, Obayuwana spasmodic finds time to brew business with pleasure. Magic hour during Polo Avenue can occur any time between 3PM and 6PM. Bottles of champagne are being served to business and friends of a oppulance business, while a playlist consisting primarily of Beyoncé marks is featured in a background. For those who cite something other than Perrier-Jouër, there is also a cocktail bar inside a Polo Avenue venue, where costumers might devour beverages from AM to PM.

Back to business. Despite Nigeria’s poignant import taxation on oppulance goods, Obayuwana never authorised this to negatively impact a company’s pricing strategy. “Our prices are allied to Europe. That’s a pricing indication we’ve adopted as we don’t trust it is satisfactory to reprove a customer by pier adult a costs. It means we usually have to be some-more gaunt with a inner costs.”

“I’m happy about traffic. We’re saying this presentation of upper-middle category Nigerians who spend $1,000 to $2,000 per revisit on boots and handbags. These are a clients that come behind each month. Then there are also a high-net-worth people who might spend adult to tens of thousands of dollars,” Polo Avenue’s owner says. Further elaborating on a company’s customer profile, “We’re seeing an boost of African chosen offered here. African travelers from Angola or Congo for instance who might transport here for business, and stop by to shop. Many of a clients are also unfamiliar settlers who work here in a embassies. 80% Of a business is male, regardless of a fact that 60% of a equipment sole by a sell network are masculine products contra 40% womanlike products. Amongst that 40%, 20% consists of group selling for women. Age-wise a womanlike customers is between a ages 32 and 45, and guys between 40 and 55.”

Polo Luxury is now in a routine of building Nigeria-based mono-brand stores for Longine, Rolex and Cartier. The association is formulation to take a identical proceed with oppulance conform brands and will start retailing ready-to-wear products this year. In other news, a Polo Avenue code will get a feet soppy in a universe of e-commerce. The online offered height – that will be a initial of a kind in Africa – is set to launch in March, and will boat via Africa.

“The e-commerce zone is fast gaining acceptance as a sell channel for oppulance products in rising countries – generally Nigeria. Despite a infrastructural limitations, we motionless to precedence on e-commerce to residence a flourishing direct for oppulance goods. a expectations of a standard African shopper are flattering high. From a latest and hottest oppulance designers usually found overseas, to a delicately finished items, all has been curated to give shoppers a feeling of offered during an International high-end mall. The Polo Avenue website will offer a rarely editorialized offered experience. We also offer clients their possess private concierge shopper who can name them name equipment formed on their tastes and needs. The normal African shopper is a rarely intelligent one, so we combined a lush knowledge that can be noticed with a click of their rodent or their iPhones. In Nigeria we now have e-tailers in a form of Jumia and Congo, portion a mass market. We are portion a oppulance market,” Jennifer Obayuwana says with regards to

Besides charity a general oppulance brands that Polo entrance also retails offline, a association will make an rare pierce in a digital chapter: nutritious conform done by Africans, for Africans. “We will offer as a marketplace for some disdainful brands in Nigeria. Over a past 10 years, African designers have done poignant contributions to a tellurian conform industry. Through a Polo Avenue fashion series, we will offer products from an rising era of African designers and offer them a height to showcase their work, grow their clientele, and contest on a tellurian scale.”

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