Despite the nation’s tough economic standing in the real estate industry, Nigeria attracted over $1.5 billion in investments into its formal retail sector over the last three years.
One of such investments is the new shopping mall known as Hubmart in Ikeja, Lagos, which is fully indigenous and sits on 4500 squares metres land with a 100 car parking space capacity made up of 70 outside and 30 under ground.
Before now, modern retailing is considered alien to the Nigerian business landscape, constituting between five and six percent of the total market value, which is considered as traditional in the nature. Presently, retail trade accounts for about 30 per cent of the world’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product, representing about $22 trillion of retail sales each year.
Statistics also show that over 80 million Nigerians now live in metropolitan areas, creating huge opportunities for formal retail to thrive.Furthermore, a recent report by Cluttons Nigeria, depicted that retail real estate, remains attractive to foreign investors with new schemes being churn out to the market, particularly at the smaller end of the scale, with Lagos seeing an increased development pipeline of smaller centres of fewer than 5,000 square metres.
With just eight shopping centres to service Lagos’ population, the retail mall sector remains vastly underserved. Lagos is yet to see the birth of mega malls in excess of 100,000 sqm. “For now, we are aware that investors are still showing an interest in retail investments, driven purely by the strong demand-supply mismatch. It is our view however that the government will need to intervene to preserve and foster the growth of this nascent sector before the challenging economic environment, coupled with debilitating capital controls, drives both retailers and investors out of the market.
Hubmart, the two-floor building unveiled by the Managing director of Guaranty Trust Bank Mr Segun Agbaje consists of ultramodern facilities designed to create amazing and mind numbing shopping experience for customers and residents in the Ikeja and its environs.
The chairman of Hubmart Shopping mall, Chris Ogboche said the mall will soon spread to all major cities in Nigeria . “Our vision is to be the leader, there is nothing stopping us to be the leader, we have 180million people who wants the good will of life and we are here to make that possible.” Ogboche said.
According to him, the business doesn’t rely on foreign exchange, it depends on Nigeria businesses that are produced here and something Nigerians bring into the country.
He further noted that the mall would encourage youths, create empowerment and also alleviate poverty.For the Managing Director of Hubmart Stores Limited, Murat Bektasla, the mall, was immaculately designed with delightful and exciting customer shopping experiences in mind. He emphasized that a 856 square metres lettable space will be reserved for strategic partnership to meet customers’ demands.
The multi billion-naira edifice was completed within a year and has over 150 people in its employ. According to him, shoppers are treated to an exquisite range of products from renowned local and international brands ranging from household items to dairy, confectionaries, toiletries, groceries and a fresh section in the store proper.
On why the mall was cited in Ikeja, Murat stated that Ikeja was key because, apart from being the capital of Lagos state, Ikeja is centrally located and easy to access from various parts of Lagos.
He noted that apart from some of the community development efforts embarked upon, the business was poised to engage and positively impact the local community with the array of initiatives in the pipeline
Also the Assistant Vice president, Marketing, Cheng Fuller said, the firm has created an environment where customers can find everything they want under one roof, get the best quality of ultra-fresh produce, and have a delightful, fulfilling and exciting shopping trip.
“Hubmart stores pride itself on its Nigerian heritage, superior customer service and excellent quality in the fresh product categories; continues in its quest affirm its mantra of being the best destination for shoppers in the country by providing services that guarantee value for money, delightful shopping, good security and the wide assortment as well as very high quality ultra-fresh products.