Last week, the news that Spanish Fashion store MANGO will open in Nigeria got me hopeful, although some people were concerned about MANGO’s choice. I think it is an interesting idea, and it think it goes beyond just opening a European fashion store in an somewhat emerging economy. When I heard the news I thought, ‘it is little advancements like this, that actually bring development in emerging or developing countries’. It does not always have to be a big loan from the World Bank, sometimes it can just be a store opening like Mango to show the world and world investors that the country is progressing in some way. For a fashion store to open in an emerging country, it has to be confident that there are enough people in the country with strong purchasing power to go to their stores. Many will argue that it is only the wealthy Nigerians who will benefit from the store and who will bring revenue to the store, but like I said signs of development come and show up in different ways, and I think this is one of them. It shows that there are enough consumers in Nigeria who are world travelers, who are familiar with Mango, and who would likely be shopping there every now and then. It also means that people visiting Nigeria will be able to find global fashion stores like Mango in Nigeria, and it might actually enhance their visiting experiences, believe it or not. Most emerging countries would like their nations to be seen as a potential place to visit and explore for the rest of the worl; Africa is one of those places filled with culture and worth visiting, but many times the history and the negative situations of many countries in the continent suffocate the potential that it’s countries have as destinations for world travelers. To me it is a sign that there is a change in the perception that people and world investors have of developing countries. It is shows that they gradually becoming a part of the global economy, and are a less likely to be excluded as much from it in the future. So I chose to look at it from a positive light, and hopefully if Mango succeeds in this new endeavor, maybe their competitors like ZARA fashion will also take more risks and enter new markets like that of Nigeria. I really believe that development in the future will also come out of the Arts/Fashion industries. I say good luck to Mango, hopefully they will be able to get and keep enough customers to stay in Nigeria.
By the way check out the new campaign of Mango with Scarlett Johansson if you have not, click here