Time for a good old gripe.
I'll start with Swift Communications. My internet service provider. When we first started using them about 6 months ago, they were fantastic. Same speed as broadband abroad. To be fair their customers services are great, they call back when they say they will and they send out their engineers when needed.
BUT...a few months down the line and for the most part the internet service is a bit shite. I spend HOURS (no joke) trying to uplaod my pictures now which is why I might seem to not update so frequently. Trust me, its not from lack of trying. I've been tring to upload my last post "Full Length & Fabulous" since SUNDAY!
So what I want to know is how come all good things in Nigeria always seem to come to an early end? Why is it that so many businesses and entrepreneurs start out so full of promise with high expectations and even higher standards yet a few months/years down the line its usually a very different story.
Why is it so damn hard to maintain any sort of standards in Nigeria and why does it seem to be ten times as much work to keep things afloat.
Where to shop?
Our crap infrastructure that really doesn't help. Bearing in mind my knowledge and exposure is limited to the retail sector..The running costs of a business here are astronomical and yes, I think they're higher than the UK/USA. Think about it, you pay two years rent up front, a service charge, you'll need a generator, probably ahev to put in your own water system and that's before you start any refurb.
And I believe the set up costs are very similar too. The commercial rent is comparable to what would be paid abroad, and you're guaranteed to have a much lower footfall in Lagos than you would on a high street in London.
Too Many Chiefs, Not Enough Indians
One significantly lower cost is staff. But that's a false economy as you have to spend so much time micro-managing, checking, cross checking, correcting, training re-tarining, explaining re-explaining that you really don't get enough time to do much else. Why do staff in Nigeria seem so lazy? They start out great and before you know it they're not so good. I've heard too many stories of staff setting up side line businesses, shafting their boss, leaving to set up the same type of business.
I often wonder where the future of retail lies in Nigeria. For a country with so much money, we don't have any international retailers here. Even Swaziland do! We don't really have anywhere that offers a true shopping experience. before anybody says Mega or The Palms...what exactly is it apart from food or electronics are we supposed to be buying in there?
I'm always being told stories of oh so-and-so are planning on moving into Nigeria...Before people go getting overexcited, just check where else in Africa they have set up shop. If tehy're not in South Africa, they ain't comin g here. South Africa is a much easier market to analyse and predict with a more atble economy and better established retail sector so just why exactly would they bypass that for Nigeria first? I've heard Zara are moving here so many times. No. They're. Not. They have a couple of spots in Morocco yes, but I definitely believe they'll be moving into South Africa next and somehow not Nigeria.
I touched on ths topic of retail in Nigeria a few weeks ago, take a look.
The last comment which was posted this week got me thinking about the retail sector in Nigeria again.
But I want to know what you all think...where does the future of retail in Nigeria lie? And who do you all think will be the first proper (retail) international chain to set in Nigeria?