Zara recently opened its second shop in Sandton South Africa following their february opening of its first ever shop in South Africa and indeed Africa. Also joining in the bandwagon is Thomas Pink who opened in June. Topshop is also expected to open shop in December 2012. Why South Africa and not Nigeria? The massive influx of FDI into South Africa in recents months is a model that has been followed by big European and American companies over the last decade or so. South Africa with it’s much developed economy, infrastructure and political stability is seen as an investment gateway into Africa.
Africa is surely the next big market in the world and they know this and if that is so Nigeria surely is the next India. That is why they are all setting up bases in South Africa. They will patiently wait and watch the Nigerian economy fulfill its immense potentials before coming. Signs are already there with the setting up of over 9 malls in just under 5 years. Johannesburg alone has about 29 malls so we have a long way to go to attract large anchor tenants like Zara, Topshop or even Walmart. Shoprite recently announced plans to add 9 new Malls in Nigeria as developers currently cannot meet their demand for space and rapid expansions into other cities. This also affects the influx of other large retailers.
Nigeria’s currently grows at a faster rate than South Africa even though our GDP is about half of SA’s. We make up for that with almost 5 times their population, a stat investors can’t ignore for too long. All we need to do is work hard to put adequate infrastructure and security in place for businesses to thrive. The Nigerian Stock Exchange also needs to become more sophisticated in its dealing apparatus and also be able attract the likes of NNPC, MTN and Globacom etc to become a conduit. With these in place, soon and very soon Nigeria will attract the world.