My latest column for Infoboxx on supporting African luxury markets
As more African consumers become a part of the global middle class, the continent’s appetite for luxury products grows. While countries such as Egypt and Morocco have traditionally attracted luxury retailers, more companies are setting up shops below the Sahara as the oil, mineral and telecommunications industries boom in Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya, among other countries. Accra, Lagos, and Nairobi are ranked the continent’s fastest growing cities for dollar millionaires.
Nigeria boasts the world’s second fastest growth in champagne consumption while the never-ending construction of luxury real estate developments in Trasacco, Cantonments and Airport neighborhoods suggest that Accra has more than its fair share of nouveau riche. The taste for the finer things reflects worldwide growth in the luxury market, which reached €224 billion in 2014.
The luxury industry includes a wide array of products from personal luxury goods such as clothes and jewelry to home furnishings to transport and travel. But when it comes to these goods, where is the source? Many Africans appear far keener to spend money on European vacations and luxury clothes and accessories than to support the growth of high-quality homegrown brands.