• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Experts urge retail shops to increase local input preference


Experts say retailers need to increase local raw materials sourcing so as to become competitive in the local market.

According to these experts, sourcing more raw materials from Nigeria will make retail shops offer the right prices for their products while identifying opportunities in the midst of the present economic challenge, as a way of surviving the turbulent times.

These were the unanimous views of experts at the third edition of Retail Leadership Conference tagged ‘Unlocking Retail Potentials for Surviving Growth and Sustainability, which was held recently in Lagos.

Ibukun Awosika, chairman, First Bank of Nigeria who spoke on the topic, ‘Surviving and Growing in Uncertain and Challenging Economic Times’, advised retailers to develop the right mindset to survive in this deep cut environment.

“The reality right now is that the buying power of every consumer has depreciated. Most people do not have as much disposable income available. In the market where people are losing jobs, where inflation has risen in high double digits, you have to find how you can reach your consumers who have no capacity to absorb the increased cost in your business by finding the alternative to your product within the same category before your competitor beats you to it,” Awosika said.

Temitope Oshikoya, CEO/chief economic strategist, Nextnomics, said business owners need to look beyond the exchange rate and focus on opportunities they can leverage on in their businesses.

Oshikoya said, “Source for local raw materials within Nigeria instead of importing them, because you don’t have access to foreign exchange or the income you are generating cannot provide FX for you. Consumers have become more conscious, more concerned and conservative because of the state of the economy and they are likely going to proactively search for savings. They will remain brand-loyal only if the price is right.”

Adenike Ogunlesi, founder of Ruff ‘n’ tumble, said retailers should readjust and creatively think of opportunities that exist in this challenging moment.

“I started my business from the boot of my car several decades ago selling pyjamas because there was no place one could buy them in Nigeria at that time. There was a gap in the market so it was an opportunity, and there are so many more opportunities like that which exist along the entire value and supply chain today,” Ogunlesi said.

Bukky George, founder & CEO, Healthplus & CasaBella, advised against passing on all the cost incurred on the consumer, insisting that the pricing has to be right to retain patronage.
“The recession is real. The economy is rough and tough and Nigerians are broke. Wages have been stagnant. If you don’t price right, your margins can disappear. If you overpass the extra accost on your customer, then you chase them away,” George said.