The modern retail sector has been identified as an important catalyst for achieving economic recovery. Speaking about the correlation between a buoyant retail sector and economic growth, Chief Executive Officer, FoodCo Nigeria Limited, Ade Sun-Basorun, said it was pertinent to grow the retail sector as it would contribute significantly to gross domestic product (GDP) and act as a feeder industry to stimulate growth across other sectors.
He said sectors like manufacturing and agriculture typically feed on modern retail to achieve their aspirations of meeting the consumption needs of citizens.
According to him, modern retail plays a key role in unlocking critical routes to market for industries, especially within the SMEs and cottage enterprise segments, which in turn, helps to boost local commercial activity.
He noted that investing in modern retail triggers corresponding growth in the real estate sector given the increasing return to in-store shopping post-COVID-19.
“While e-commerce has become a reality, the demand for in-store shopping, especially among quality-driven customers, who prefer to physically assess items before they buy, has not diminished. The 2023 Broll Property Report expects that items under the food and beverage, mobile phones and accessories, health and fashion as well as furniture categories will remain key drivers that will sustain the demand for real estate for modern retail. There is also the added consideration that the in-store shopping experience has become a socialising activity for many people,” he said.
He stressed that an expansion of the modern retail sector would not only accelerate structural transformation within the sector but would also stimulate job opportunities in complementary industries.
Acknowledging that the sector was going through a tough period due to the economic challenges, he expressed optimism that the sector’s resilience would see it through the difficult cycle.
“The general economic situation is also affecting modern retail as is to be expected. But as a 42-year-old player, we have been through thick and thin in the sector and still we have always maintained our focus which is to deliver top customer service at competitive price. We remain optimistic at the fortunes of modern retail moving into the future and we will continue to invest it through good and difficult times,” he added.