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Mall culture continues to take off in Nigeria

Part of the Lagos mainland, Ikeja is the capital of Nigeria's Lagos State, and one of its most densely populated areas. It comprises a mix of residential and commercial property, and boasts comparatively good infrastructure, including an airport. It's characterised by a wide mix of people, including expatriates and some of the country's wealthiest citizens, including an estimated 9,100 millionaires.
Video wall at Ikeja City Mall
Since December 2011, the area is also home to the Ikeja City Mall, a leisure and shopping facility of international standard, and the largest to be found on the Lagos mainland.

With the growth of Nigeria’s middle class, malls are increasingly springing up. The country’s retail sector remains mostly informal – at present, around 2% of the population shops at formal retail supermarkets – but this is changing, as increasing numbers flock to malls to experience their novelty, enjoy the air conditioning, and shop for desirable brands.

First of its kind

According to Isaac Ikhide, MD of Primedia Nigeria, Ikeja City Mall was the first mall of its kind in Nigeria. It is the most popular formal shopping destination in the city, with Trip Advisor ranking it as #5 of 30 things to do in Lagos. The mall has various restaurants and close to 120 retail stores, including top international brands such as Shoprite, Levi’s, Mango, Nike, Puma, Polo, Gene Bendi, Mr Price, Essenza, La Coste, Samsung, Apple, LG, Accessorize, TM Lewin and more.  

Customers are typically highly image-conscious, very brand aware and tech-savvy, and as Ikhide notes, extend across a range of social-economic classes. The mall also has both an ice rink and a five screen Silverbird cinema – also the first of its kind in Ikeja – making it a destination for family outings on the weekends, and a hot spot for teens and young adults. All of which, along with its location, combines to make it attractive to advertisers.

“Ikeja City Mall is located in a very strategic business centre of the state, next to the Lagos state secretariat and the state governor’s office”, says Ikhide. “Media advertisers are very interested in advertising their products in the mall, because it is used by both affluent and lower income consumers.”

Seizing the opportunity

For these reasons, Primedia Nigeria has acquired extensive inventory at the mall. “By having a presence in the mall, Primedia is able to maximise the exposure opportunity that exists, given that footfall at the mall has been conservatively estimated at around 700 000 a month,” explains Ikhide.  "We have branded banners along the corridors linking each of the entrances to the centre of the mall where the video walls are located. There are also advertising opportunities at the food court area, the top gallery and the rest rooms.”

Impressively, there are also two 2.5m x 2.5m LEDs with fully interactive screens, offering digital opportunities for brands to engage ‘live’ with shoppers - above the entrance of Shoprite.

While just a decade ago, malls were something Nigerians for the most part only experienced during overseas trips, they are now rapidly proliferating. This represents a golden opportunity for those seeking to reach Nigeria’s growing middle class.
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About the author

Johan Haupt is Senior Marketing Services Strategist for Primedia Outdoor.