Fashion-conscious Lagosians switch to online shopping

When brothers Chris and Tope Folayan founded MallforAfrica in 2013, Nigeria’s consumer market looked a lot healthier and more promising than it does today.

Three years ago, MallforAfrica joined the raft of Nigerian tech start-ups attracting private equity and venture capital backing. It offered online retailers in the US and the UK that were wary of shipping directly to Nigeria a conduit to the country of more than 180m people. The ease of transacting for Nigerians — and for the companies selling them electronics, clothes, jewellery and appliances — brought customers to Mallfor­Africa as high oil prices drove growth and enabled heavy consumer spending.

Rival online retailers such as Jumia and Konga did not have the same partnerships with western brands that MallforAfrica had managed to forge.

Read more: Fashion-conscious Lagosians switch to online shopping