Africa, the No.2 fastest growing economy only behind Asia-Pacific, has seen a rise in the fortunes of several of its citizens, nurturing a higher taste for the ‘finer things’. This newly-imbibed culture has attracted the attention of luxury goods maker, with the continent already exhibiting signs of becoming the next hotspot for lavish acquisitions.
From 2007-2012, Nigeria – home to over 20 billionaires – recorded a 26 percent growth in the market for Champagne with a total consumption level of 750 million bottles, placing the oil-rich nation amongst the top 20 champagne markets in the world.
According to a report by BusinessDay, this growth is expected to shoot further by 78 percent in the next 5 years.
Similarly, a detailed analysis done by UK-based Euromonitor revealed that the continent’s biggest economy, South Africa, has moved from a position of holding only 10 percent of luxury consumption within the Middle East/Africa region as at 2003, to becoming the largest market for luxurious products.
Concerns over recent dips in demand in parts of Asia, particularly China where the government is keen on reducing the acquisition of exorbitantly-priced items in what it labelled ‘corrupt practices’ perpetuated by business elites, have started to kick in and luxury business owners including fashion designing companies are turning their attentions towards the African market.
Despite the extreme levels of poverty and inequality currently bereaving the continent, High-flying fashion brands such as Hugo Boss are already operating in Nigeria, while Prada, an Italian fashion label specializing in luxury goods, have disclosed plans to enter the Angolan market next year.
Also, luxurious car brands such as Porsche and Rolls Royce all have their latest editions being showcased at exhibition shows in Nigeria and South Africa – a recently adopted trend.
One problem Africa must tackle as it seeks to sustain such growth is in the area of infrastructure development. Facilities such as well-equipped malls and stores, security and an efficient transport system – presently a deficiency for the black continent – are all key to a successful establishment as the leading destination for luxury goods.