«Home

Woolworths Lagos Closed Down: Any Idea Why?

I believe it was due to a ban on the importation of ready-made clothes.

Does anyone know anything other than that? I find it hard to believe that the Woolworth’s franchise operating in Nigeria didn't do the due diligence to understand that this could be a factor that could close them down??

Is there any gist on this?

Avatar
Newbie
38 answers

Hello All,

I'm not sure if posting a comment about a discussion that started almost 2 years ago is still valid but I thought I should comment all the same.

First, the Woolworths that was set up in Nigeria was not an extension of the Woolworths in the UK. I also thought it was initially. It was actually an extension of the Woolworths South Africa, one of the most successful retail chains in the country, modeled after Marks and Spencer of the United Kingdom.

I personally was not impressed with the type of clothing they sold in Lagos, particularly when compared with the clothing they sold in their outlets in South Africa so I wasn't particularly surprised when they closed down. Furthermore, the ban on importation did not really help matters.

Anywayz, I have read all the comments on the topic and was quite surprised on how an innocent topic became a controversial topic. Needless to say that all the major players in the argument made valid points. We obviously need help with growing the major industries in Nigeria so don't shoot me when I say I am in favour of foreign players coming into the economy.

I am in the fashion industry and intend to come back home when I'm done with my studies to set up. All your comments have been very helpful in putting things into perspective.

Thx a billion and have a wonderful week ahead!

0
Avatar
Newbie

E bi like say you know know wetin you dey talk this man.

First of all, Woolworth has no place in Nigeria. We should develop our own fashion houses. why is it that na only wetin the oyinbo bring all the time na him una dey respect. Wetin day wrong with you black man? Na this kind behaviour make oyinbo dey respect every other race first before he respect balck man. in fact he no respect black man and he think say black man just be one step up from a Gorilla. That na why even their top scientists dey talk say black man dey less inteligent than other races and you know the sad thing, sometimes I almost dey believe am but I think say he put am wrongly  bc black man no dey less intelligent because I studied with mostly white people at Uni and I can tell you say many of the black people in my class were more inteligent than 95% of the oyinbo people in my year: Just see wetin their top scientist dey talk about you here: http://news.independent.co.uk/sci_tech/article3067222.ece and www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article2677098.ece.

Like say the Scientist talk say black people are the most IGNORANT of all races I for applaud am. 

On a final note, if nah Woolworth you dey shop then you don tell us (at least me) your class, nothing for me to say anymore on that.

0
Avatar
Newbie

went thru the threads, for me Nigeria really has a lot of catching up to do. As a nation we cant be relevant in today's competitive business environment if we fail to develop ourselves. But have we really developed ourselves? Answer is NO, we complain about foreign multi-nationals, point accusing fingers at them, but we no they try as a nation. We need to do away with somethings and improve in some regards. Saw the pix from singapore, malaysia and i was impress, incase some people dunno, malaysia got the palm seeds from naija and today the are leading in that are and not solely dependent on oil. I find it very disgusting for someone in America, Amsterdam, London, Toronto where ever sha to sit in the comfort of their homes and chant ways for naija's growth.

0
Avatar
Newbie

They must have shutdown the place cos they could'nt pay for the building anylonger. Tell me--- how many ppl walk into that place in a day?

0
Avatar
Newbie

we can cry and all that, but nigeria will never be good until the very nigerians get up on thier two feet and do more than just talking and complaining. Nigerians run to the west, east wherever is better rather than take whats' spoilt in nigeria and repair it,

For the people coming in, MTN, Woolworth et al, thier intention is to make money, they are companies owned by people whose intentions are mainly to make profit, any other thing [like improve nigeria] can only come as second priority. They however will learn that help with creating a better nigeria will only make doing business and thus making money easier for them, but then, the cost of improving naija's state of affair is so high that they'll prob. better off investing that effort/money somewhere else,

all the same, nigerians are the only ones who can fix nigeria, for as long as we hope that the western/european gov/companies and the like will give a iota of love to us, we'll keep being victims of exploitation from all sides, I can't wait to see what china wants to do with us now that they are also flooding in,

0
Avatar
Newbie

I am glad that Constantin has apologized to gigitte. So let me start by answering one of the questions put foward by constantin.

We find it difficult to bring franchises over to Nigeria simply because of our ineadequate infrastructures. Electricity is a major concern to these foreign investors and they will keep telling you that untill they are blue in the face. They wonder how they could cover costs based on running generators 75% of the time. It is possible to get round that but you have to convince them. I have been through that and it has not been easy. The road network is in shambles, safety is an issue also when they have to supply you with almost 90% of the material you need. Our insurance companies do not cover such business ventures and they just string you along. If you go with the insurance companies over here, they charge you so much based on the safety issues in Nigeria.

We have to secure our Police Authorities, infrastructure etc before we can project to what we really want to achieve. We are trying to walk before crawling and that is why we take a step foward and 20 steps backwards. We need to get the foundation right my people. With a lousy foundation, any house we build will collapse. We need to stop the hunger in the society, pay the Police their salaries so that they will stop financing the armed robbers!!

PLEASE GIGITTE AND CO. LET US START FROM THIS THREAD TO ACCESS WAYS TO HELP BUILD THE NATION FROM THE FOUNDATION. WE HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO, HOW DO WE START? Our leaders are all theives and we know that they know nothing at all except for a few of them. How do we grow?

Chuma

0
Avatar
Newbie

well wish all conflicts could be settled thise way, maybe this worl would be a happier place

0
Avatar
Newbie

bani, that is what i want, too. and all Africans probably, too. Even if you look at Arab or Asian architectural structures you will notice the typical Asian design of highrises and other building! Building high-rises doesn´t mean that you copy what the west does, it can also be an expression of your own art and culture. I am studying architeture, so I know what i am talking about!

0
Avatar
Newbie

i wasnt saying malls arent cool,i was just raising an awareness on local content. i basically have no biff with the likes of palm mall (afterall they give a good bargain ) .

also theres no biff on western concepts of living, but we have to take it at pace where the mindset of naija pikin developes with it, thats why we are having a serious 'condition of living' divide the masses cannot appreciate the infrastructures or ideas you are trying to build.

and not every concept from the west is ideal for us down here, we should be able to sift the chaff from the grain. we need to keep our naija identity

0
Avatar
Newbie

@ chumas

thanks! maybe constantin will listen to you if not me hehe. instead of us to learn from the mistakes made, we just want to blindly do follow follow. how can fast food be a good thing? na wah oh

@gaby, thks! as for where im from. ekiti parapo, represent!

0
Avatar
Newbie

@constantin,

You are lucky I only come on line early in the morning before I get ready for work. You would have been hearing more from me. Gigitte is a very smart girl and if you do not recognize that, then I am really sorry for you. You showed us pictures of shopping malls and tall buildings, was that to impress us? The Western world are now trying to be environmentally friendly and Gigitte asked you about Global warming issues. I have not seen any reply from you.

Tall buildings do not impress me. I am a British born Nigerian and I have seen it all. We do not have to go that route to be advanced. Our problem is within ourselves, we need to empower the right people to achieve all the goood things that are there for us. We have the natural resources but we lack governance. We need people to think Nigeria first before we can progress. We do not want to embrace the foreing culture because that is not who we are. Nigeria is struggling now because the system of government that was imposed on us was by the British who did not really care about our well beign. We should progress in our direction and not copying others!!!

We are building new malls in Nigeria and that is a fact but we will not achieve a great success if we do not embrace our traditional values and make them visible within the big walls of those malls. We should not be thinking Oyinbo Oyinbo all the time because they do not think about you over here. We certainly do not want unhealthy fast food shops in Naija. We do not want the health hazards associated with that as we can not handle it yet. You should be ashamed of those pictures you pasted on this site, you just wasted good space for important discussion.

Chuma

0
Avatar
Newbie

woolsworth is on ADEOLA ODEKU IN V.I, T.M has a shop in d GALLERIA and anoda in the PALMS.guess they have other outlets.

a shirt in T.M Shop is like 8k

0
Avatar
Newbie

Hey gigite love your brace zo schatig, sorry dat was dutch (so cute)would like to know what part of naija u are from you are such a pretty babe

0
Avatar
Newbie

lol@ salsera, the bras that were being sold at woolies did not merit 1000 naira in any way

as for you constantin, wow so now i am a typical traditional naija girl/woman, bwahahhhhhhhhhahaahah, i'm probably more enlightened than you are. obviously, you can't read, because i dont know how anyone would read my posts and come up with the conclusions you are coming up with.

goodbye, because i have no time for such

0
Avatar
Newbie

@jeoma

TM Lewin is on the ground floor at the Silverbird galleria, ahmadu belllo way victoria island

i think there is still an official store on awolow way in ikoyi

though i would say if you are looking to buy a shirt buy at least on from Davida, her shop is somewhere in victoria island though i'm told she sells in outlets in abuja.

personally i intend on getting one as soon as i can afford one(almost the same price as a TMlewin)

Have no idea why woolworths closed down but the news is stale cos they closed downlast year besides their clothes did not cater for african sthyle their were too many pastel colours and corduroy the only thing i found it worthwhile were buying tights for when i wanted to travel.

Bras at 1000 is not expensive o ! many shops even small ones in Naija sell good quality bras for even more.

0
Avatar
Newbie

bani, yes foster our local knowledge and products but we do have to sell them in nice wrappings, with good marketing methods and in cool and snazzy stores, that is good for our country!

0
Avatar
Newbie

well i do wonder what all the hype about some foreign label , ive been a receipient of clothes and footwears from folks abroad especially uk, and i have had cos to question the quality of some of these wears with what i get in naija here. a classic case wa when my bro' got my dad a slippers from 'jand' and not wanting to be let down i got one for him from my able cobbler 'gbenga', and funny enough the 'janded slippers didnt last up to a month (it wasnt even worn dat much), while the one i gave the old man is still serving him till now so also all the ones he makes for me.

ive been aroung 'ariara' market in aba and i was stunned at the skills and knowledge the guys there have, but wrong implementation. though their excuse is due to high tarrifs and running cost by the goverment, the have to use low cost materials to make better gains. if the government could encoutage them we would have more depoartmental stores sporting naija wears.

seriously one needs to take a tour to ariara and onitsha markets to see what these guys could do , if encouraged

0
Avatar
Newbie

Kiss

My dear you are such a cutie honey ay with the mind and thoughts of an adult, was so so impressed with all of your comments here where damn right on you got it girl, going to be looking out for your comments on other threads as well, one thing is certain no matter what anyone on here is got to say this is just good riddance to bad rubbish, periood, GO girl i gotcha ack xoxoxoxox Kiss

0
Avatar
Newbie

I'm not certain how this became a debate about ideologues but it is good to get an understanding how people are feeling on the ground.

I personally believe some where in the middle you are all right. Just as they do in the Europe and America these retailers have an obligation and a moral duty to add value to the indigenous people and customers they are serving. They should meet the demand in Nigeria for choice and quality at value for money prices.

The consumer should be able to choose whether to shop in a mall or a market, choose whether to buy Nigerian made or European made goods. This sort of competition is what advances economies and improves the way people live.

Prohibition is probably not the way as it doesn't actually get at the root of the problem. So long as there is (if there is) a negative brand image amongst the consumer of Nigerian manufacturing, agricultural produce etc they will simply just get this stuff on the black market not buying the domestic produce anyway.

The government are better off doing what other economies do. Allow QUALITY imports only into the country. Provide tax incentives, grants and subsidies to Nigerian companies. Allow all products to be available in the market place side by side. In doing so the consumer will see that there is little difference between the two, equate European made and Nigeria made as comparable and where this doesn't happen it will be the inspiration Nigerian industry needs to get to that next level.

0
Avatar
Newbie

@chuma

spot on spot on!

and can u imagine its ppl like st.moritz and co that will be sponsoring events in fashion and entertainment and arts industry , how could the naija government allow british american tobacco to come here.

kai instead of ppl to update our traditional stuff, every thing must be oyinbo. na real wah oh

0
Avatar
Newbie

@gigitte,

My sister u have the wisdom of a much older person. This is exactly how I want Nigerians to talk and think. I have enjoyed your contribution so much that I am forced to write something here.

With the Woolworths situation, If they do not want to embrace Nigerian designers talents then good riddance to bad rubbish. They do not even sell quality clothes in their UK shops and most good labels do not even identify with them. We have designers that can compete with the best of them but our people are stuck with this foreign concept sh*t that it amazes me as to how shallow we really are. Those foriegn designers do not want to recognize us, why should we patronize them? We should try and be Nigerians.

The market does not bother me at all, there is the Brixton market just like any other Naija market. We should just clean it up a little bit that's all. The big malls coming in should not replace our traditional markets, this is who we are!!! We should just improve the layout of the markets.

American Tobacco people are now in Nigeria peddling their filth to our people just because the Western countries have banned any form of tobacco commercial and even smoking in public areas. Cigarettes are bad for our health but our silly government are allowing these people to bring this poison to us. Over here in the UK the anti-smoking campaign has driven them out of business.

Chuma.

0
Avatar
Newbie

yeah baby!

i have serious beef with foreign investors who are imperalist in their outlook and refuse to promote a good nigerian image or try and make their business uniquely nigerian. i feel they are out here to make money at the expense of nigerian and nigerians which is altogether disgusting. i strongly feel that we should come up with our own stuff and export it to the west in addition to equally represented views in foreign investorship relations. i dont want another western world in nigeria i want a nigeria that is nigeria -- proud and magnificent, not knock off hollywood, malls and nonsense. scheww

look at MTN for God goodness sake lol, its as if south africa wants to take over, abeg wetin? even british american tobacco that is busy there doing proudly nigerian, they are just here cos the nigerian government is taking their crap, their own is even worse than MTN or woolies. i wont even start on oil companies. we should make like chad and give them a real shake down

0
Avatar
Newbie

Gigitte

you re talking as if u re having a kind of Beef for all these foreign Investors

0
Avatar
Newbie

woolworths closed down and im happy!

why should we have a brand that is seemingly imperial

even the above average nigerian could not afford to shop there, so what is the point being a pseudo-department store and their nonsense is not deserving of that price at all

they didnt even try to develop a naija feel, they didnt promote themselves as being proudly nigerian, it seemed like a foreign/expat affair. this is not the direction in which i would like to see naija go.

charity begins at home, so the palms can rot and die if they dont start supporting naija in real ways and exporting naija image to the rest of the world.

those 'dirty' markets are part of us, and me i dont mind them so much. go over to america and see how ppl complain about malls and big brands like that. how is a big brand leaving naija a sign of regression. mehn, somedays i begin to wonder at the damage the white man has done.

the world is advancing because they have woolworths? na so i just dey laff here. maybe we will be advanced when we have serial killers lol.

0
Avatar
Newbie

Woolworths Is located right in Adeola Odeku. Victoria Island.

I havent really been to the shop

But have been to other nearby shops in that mini mall.

Though I believe its as a result of bad economic Situation they have to Go.

0
Avatar
Newbie

it takes 5 years of tedious regulation work and endless bribery to bring a new brand on the Nigerian market but just a single day to make it close down again.

0
Avatar
Newbie

no worries my dia. I'm sure i'll find when i need.

0
Avatar
Newbie

i honestly have no idea, sorry oh

(i can ask around sha)

0
Avatar
Newbie

as of last summer, they were still up and running (i've never been there sha)

i was at silverbird's one fine day and sporting a T.M Lewin shirt when i met this lady in bathroom and she was like that's a TM and i was like yeah. turns out she works for them and the way she spoke, business seemed good.

sha sha, she didn't offer to give me discount if i visited and i dont know about their prices lol, considering i didnt get the shirt from naija. i dont want to go and be broke hehe. na poor student i be

0
Avatar
Newbie

No problem. As i said your comments were definately helpful. Maybe you also know something about TM Lewin. Is there still a franchise operation running in Nigeria.

0
Avatar
Newbie

not sure why you are so upset but in anycase your feedback (underneath the hostility) was helpful.

0
Avatar
Newbie

some ppl are so negative

woolworths sold clothes iand shoes in nigeria, i believe they were only on victoria island. they didnt get here via europe, rather they got via south africa (just like steers, hope that one closes down too lol)

it was very boring, bra for >1000? like wtf. and waaaaaaaaaay too expensive, i think only crazy nigerians did any reasonable shopping there. only expats and foreigners shopped their like they were at bend down select

this woolworths did not sell uniforms. why would they do that? this aint england, we have tailors to make our sh*t

and jeez yes, they were stuff you'd recognize in europe and they were new (but so what if you didnt recognize the brands. davida, mon ami, zizi cardow had better sh*t anyday anytime and why wouldn't they be new, do you know any woolworths that sells second hand? is it cos its naija?)

what woolies should have done, tho it was an extension of SA franchises should have popularize up and coming designers in naija and have them do mass market ready to wear stuff. but no, they had to be imperialist and force their bland nonsense on us. well goodbye!

0
Avatar
Newbie

Not sure i understand.

On one hand you say, any organisation that relies 100% on the importation of goods will fail in Nigeria, on the other you say these outlets were let down by the poor manufacturing sector in Nigeria.

Please explain a little more, i'm interested to learn.

0
Avatar
Newbie

Visited the Woolies store in Lagos. Wasn't impressed. I think it was one of those franchises that allow you to trade under a particular name only while leaving you at liberty as to what kind of products you will sell. Perhaps all they bought was the goodwill of the name WOOLWORTHS cos that shop wasn't anything like the Woolies in Europe. Again i believe it was an extension of a south African Woolworths.

As to your question why it might have closed down, i think any organisation that will rely on 100% importation of the goods they want to sell in Nigeria will fail. Part of the reason Leventis failed ditto Kingsway and UTC. In fairnesss these other stores had some local input like Walls some food from UAC foods, chicken from Oke Afa farms in Isolo some used local tailors to for their clothes division, but were let down by the death of the manufacturing sector in Nigeria.

0
Avatar
Newbie

Thanks ,

Were there any clothes brands we'd recognise in Europe?? - were they definately new clothes as opposed to SHC.

0
Avatar
Newbie

is there another branch in lekki?i thot it was just victoria island,just in front of st elmos and chicken licken. went there the last time i went to nigeria,they do sell clothes nothing great really.most were really overpriced,sleeveless tees for 3500-5000

0
Avatar
Newbie

Indeed. Woolworths was i believe in Lekki, Lagos.

Does anybody know what merchandise they actually sold. In Europe they sell CD's sweets, electrical goods and some soft furnishing. Was the Lagos store different, see link.

http://www.woolworths.co.za/caissa/caissa2asp.asp?Page=ITB_Context&Post=WW_OurStores_Franchise

0
Avatar
Newbie
Your answer
Add image

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.