Nigeria is presently experiencing consumer revolution with large shopping malls opening up in various parts of the country with positive implications on job creations and taxes, especially in Lagos where the state government emphasises tax payment.
In Lagos alone, there are several shopping malls located in strategic corners with more expected. Analysts say some of the factors driving opening of shopping centres include one-stop shop experience, shopping convenience, Nigerian consumers are becoming brand conscious and the need for ever busy Nigerians who want to shop after close of work.
To offer Ikeja and its environs the unique shopping experience, Ikeja City Mall valued at over N16 billion, which combines shopping with fun and offers a time out for the whole family, opened for business in December 2011. Norman Sander, the centre manager, who tells BusinessDay that the idea is to replicate the type of shopping malls shoppers see in other major economies, says the consumer traffic has grown by more than 25 percent.
In an attempt to grow the Ikeja City Mall brand among consumers, the centre recently embarked on promotions among shoppers, “we want to boost loyalty to the Ikeja City Mall brand. We want consumers to recognise the brand and to come here for their shopping experience. This year, we are building loyalty,” Sander says.
For the promos, shoppers were encouraged to make purchases from any store in the mall, then wrote their names and numbers behind the receipt before dropping them into drop off boxes, strategically positioned in the mall. Through a draw, the winners were selected. The 10 winners were treated to a candlelight dinner for two (winner and spouse).
Just coming from the recently concluded Scavenger Hunt, another promo that was keenly contested where consumers were also encouraged to drop as many entries as they wanted to stand a better chance of winning. The contest involved locating and identifying letters from shops in the mall which spell ‘Ikeja City Mall.’ First winner was rewarded with N100,000 shopping , while other nine contestants got consolation prizes.
Explaining why he thinks more Nigerians are keying into shopping in malls, Sander says it is simply about convenience. “Nigerians are busy just as other people in the world with limited time to shop in the traditional market, which have very short time to open. But malls close very late and families can shop in the evening and bring their families for a meal or movie. It is about comfort, convenience and security. In malls, shopping can be done under one roof,” he says.