You can open a clothing store in Nigeria and prosper in this highly fashion conscious market. Nigerians love wearing the latest fashions, and especially enjoy wearing American and European brands such as Tahari, Jones NY, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and Kenneth Cole. The lower end of the clothing market in Nigeria is comprised of Chinese imported apparel, with the middle and high end segments comprised of imported brand name clothes. Opening a clothing store in Nigeria can seem complicated, but if one implements the following steps he or she can be operating in no time.
Research the market and decide which market segment you are selling to. Once you decide who your ideal customer base is, you will know how much these customers can afford to spend, and which brands and styles they like purchasing. Once you have this information you want to contact wholesale clothing suppliers that carry the lines you want to stock your store with. The Internet is a perfect tool which can be used to get in touch with legitimate clothing suppliers. Nigerians enjoy wearing designer labels so your focus should be on brand name apparel vendors. Purchasing closeouts is also a savvy way to carry an inventory that will be more affordable to your customers, while still supplying them with the styles they wear.
Selecting a name for your clothing store. Business names must be submitted to the Corporate Affairs Commission. Submissions be can be done online or in person at their offices in Abuja or Lagos.
Assuming your business name is not being used, and it is accepted, you should receive confirmation within 48 hours.
Your shop must be incorporated through the Federal Board of the Inland Revenue Service. You can have an attorney draw up and notarize the articles of incorporation, which will allow your business to be registered through the court and the tax office. Part of the reason why Nigeria has such a vibrant economy is because of government regulations, ensure that you are compliant with them by hiring a competent attorney.
Select a location for your store. In order to select the optimal spot you need to first determine where your ideal customers shop. If you are selling corporate suits or dress shirts you want to be situated ideally in an urban location, near office buildings or government agencies. On the other hand, if you are selling casual wear such as sneakers or shorts, your store should be in a shopping mall or in a neighborhood setting.
When searching for a commercial location you should avail yourself of the services of a licensed commercial broker. Agencies such as Knight Frank Real Estate, Lagos Nigeria Real Estate Advisors, Tunde Co. Properties, and Shining Solutions are firms which can help you locate an appropriate place.
You can also conduct a free search through NigeriaPropertiesOnline.com, which is a large real estate database.
Now that you have selected the perfect place for your store you need to address more practical concerns. You will want to purchase, or have someone make for you, racks and shelves for your merchandise. Decorate your store with exciting pictures that display models wearing the clothing that you have for sale.
You can take the pictures yourself, hire a professional photographer, or request pictures from your clothing suppliers. Make sure that the décor matches your intended customer base. For example, if your shoppers are middle aged bankers then you should use pictures of professional men and women in work situations. Start advertising once you are ready to ring up your fist sale. Hire a flyer distribution service, place ads in local newspapers, and market through online social media outlets such as Facebook.com