The business of love in Nigeria


Nigeria is fast establishing itself as a retail frontier with a population estimated at over 168 million, retail spending in excess of 100 billion US dollars a year and an economy expected to grow at 7 per cent in 2014.

“I think coupled with the world becoming more of a global village, the growth of the internet and freer flow of information, a lot more exposure to other countries has increased the awareness of things like valentine’s day in Nigeria,” Karan Keshwani, Business Head, Spar Nigeria told CNBC Africa.

With the growth of e-commerce in Nigeria resulting in a 25 per cent increase in online shopping and over 47 million internet users in the country, online retailers claim that Valentine’s Day is only second to Christmas as the biggest commercial day for their businesses.


“This year, I think valentine’s day is only second to Christmas so it’s either they are spending more or they are getting more romantic, maybe it’s a bit of both, but they are definitely buying more things,” Sim Shagaya, CEO of said

Nevertheless, the spending culture in the country is definitely changing as Valentine’s Day was once enjoyed mostly by the middle to upper class couples who could afford some of the expensive romantic offers.

“Middle class Nigerian males place a premium on love. We’ve seen the average Nigerian shopper spending between 15 000 to 20 000 naira which accounts for over 52 per cent of our annual revenue and this year, it has increased by over 60 per cent,” Ama Peters, Co-founder/Manager, Bose cards & gifts explained.

According to her, in the business of love in Nigeria, words are not enough. Cards, chocolates, candles and cupcakes are the top items of love in the city of Lagos in 2014.

“When it comes to matters of love, you know Nigerians are not very sensitive when it comes to price. There’ll be the student who will spend 10,000 naira to get a gift and there will be some individuals who’s willing to spend hundreds of thousands of naira,” Shagaya Explained.

This year, restaurants, hotels and beach resorts in Nigeria are more ready than ever to cash in on Valentine’s Day offering the perfect romantic experience in exchange for substantial consumer spending.

“Nigerians are, we enjoy life so whether its Valentine’s Day or Christmas, all of these things are opportunities to celebrate life and we spend during those times,” Shagaya added.