West Africans love to look good. From Ghanaians to Nigerians and Cameroonians, they all take great pride in their appearance – from their designer shiny pointy shoes to their perfectly styled hair. They’re not shy to spend big bucks on luxury items to look their best, even traveling miles to make sure they do.In “Nigerians Spend Top Dollars in London” CNN takes you to Oxford Street. Walking through one of Europe’s busiest shopping streets lined with hundreds of stores, you’re bound to pass by Nigerians – lots of them. It’s not unheard of for Nigerians to make a monthly shopping pilgrimage to London. It’s a trend that has seen them clinch the bronze medal as the third largest retail spender there. They’re after China and the Middle East and ahead of Russia and the United States.
What would make you spend at least $800 for a flight ticket, and spend 5 hours aboard a plane from Nigeria to London? It’s cheaper. And you have more choice. UK shopping service Global Blue estimates that Nigerian visitors spend an average of around $700 per transaction on everything from clothing to perfume – products that they won’t find at home, or if they do, it comes at a much higher price.
London is not the only one cashing in on Nigerians’ growing spending power. Dubai is fast becoming the preferred shopping mecca. A $900 flight ticket buys entry into the world’s largest shopping mall – and the worlds largest shoe store – an irresistible draw card for the West African country’s well-heeled men and women. And when a weekend shopping spree just doesn’t cut it, buy property there. According to Dubai’s Land Department, quoted in a local paper, Nigerian’s spent more than $50 million on property in the first half of last year. It’s just one example of the extravagance by some of the country’s super rich – and there are many of them. Add that to Nigeria’s growing middle class and you’re left with the kind of spending power that’s every retailer’s dream.