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“Nigerians have an insatiable need for luxury” – Jennifer Obayuwana on CNNMoney



On this month’s episode of ‘Traders’, CNNMoney meets Jennifer Obayuwana, Executive Director of Polo Luxury Group to explore the future of premium fashion in Nigeria.

The Obayuwana family brought the first luxury boutiques to Nigeria in the 1980s; and the business continues to evolve as it remains successful.

Online exchanges currently make up 30 percent of sales, which is something Obayuwana wants to change. Africa is leading in global population growth and in less than a decade, more millionaires will emerge from Africa, with wealth concentrated in urban centres. These factors combined make Africa a promising location for future luxury consumers.

Speaking on why Polo Luxury Group has been successful, Jennifer Obayuwana says“Nigerians have an insatiable need for luxury and they consume it. We’re very flamboyant and you see that in our weddings. So it fits in perfectly with our business because Nigerians are huge consumers of luxury.”

“When I came in to the business, I felt that it would be important to serve the emerging middle class that we saw rising very fast. In order to do that, I thought it was important for us to open up new stores, expand the business [and] bring in some new brands.” She added.

When asked about the future of luxury fashion, Jennifer says: “E-commerce is the biggest drive right now. It’s a very important aspect of our business now and it’s going to give us that competitive advantage on our side… It does allow us to dream big, watch this space, we will be the biggest luxury provider in Africa.”

Watch the interview HERE.


  1. iyabo

    November 29, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    …….just the 0.1% of the top 1% though……..

    • loli

      November 29, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      everyone. I daresay it’s our culture now. Maybe it’s worse in Lagos, I don’t know. Look at yummy housewives on Instagram, yahoo boys, runs girls, drug barons, even young students. Jennifer is right, and she’s catering to a hugely populated market that is increasingly obsessed with appearing to live lavish. I’d say ‘desire’ for luxury though, not need. We are a country that NEEDS good governance and electricity, unfortunately we are all caught up in the luxury web which is a major reason people do illegal or unethical things.

    • Momo

      November 29, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      Thank [email protected] the 149.5m who leave below poverty line also have an “insatiable taste “ for luxury…the generalization of it all ..

    • Silent majority

      November 29, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      @loli you’re absolutely correct. The phrase “pepper dem” seems innocuous at first but its directly tied to what she’s saying.
      We crave luxury to our extreme detriment and it will only get worse not better. The poorest of the poor have immediate needs but satisfy them and the next step is to ‘blow’ and immedietaly after….. ‘pepper dem”

  2. Temi Tope

    November 29, 2017 at 1:24 pm




  3. honeybelle

    November 29, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Whenever I passed by their store on Ozumba, I always wondered whether people actually patronise them.
    I’d really like to know how they do their marketing/what their business model is.

    • Adeola

      November 29, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Me too I have always wondered to be honest when I pass by thier store at the Palms in Lekki. I have never for once seen anyone inside. Well maybe those who shop do so discreetly or something.

  4. sisi nnene

    November 29, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    I totally agree with her. Nigerians like ‘show’ and enjoyment. Its just that we don’t have money to satisfy it.

  5. nwa nna

    November 29, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Nigerians are brand whores, and I don’t say that likely! I see every day

  6. hilda

    November 29, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    nigerians, pretentious M.fkers on the planet. fake fake fake. always posing on gram to be something they are not. POOR NATION

    The nation whom i heard from freeze will be voted having the poorest number of people inthe world surpassing India.

    Get your priorities straight.

    Pastors having private jet, 419ers, yahoos, cultist in 2017 no constant light, Everybody borrowing to have lavish weddings blah blah blah blah yet – you have more poor people in your nation than any part of the world and surpassing india who have billion in population. Clap for yourself nigeria

    truth hurts so bring the insults on.

  7. Sandra

    November 29, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    what e-commerce platform do you have – that your basic dark website which takes forever to load. ? Do cnn africa ever do any research before interviewing people

  8. Letty

    November 30, 2017 at 5:47 am

    She is in hogwash land with this back breaking grinding poverty. Who will dole out hundreds of thousands of dollars to belong. Rich Nigerians are increasingly out of touch. Thank God for america where ppl with millions of dollars in their account live a sedate non ostentatious life style. They live in nice homes and take vacations the focus is on quality of life not wannabes who will sell their souls for celines,louboutins zannottis to intimidate others. People in Nija think designer products will earn them respect and validation so sad and not true

  9. Letty

    November 30, 2017 at 5:50 am

    I look around and see ladies with designers yet they look so rough, over made up and shallow. The designer products don’t pop in real life only on instagram with airbrushing and photoshop.

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