Online retail platforms served as a major conduit and sustaining factor for several businesses in the heat of covid-19 lockdown. While offices, shops and many small enterprises were shut out of business, firms with digital footprints were able to connect with customers and get orders delivered with the help of delivery agents. Businesses without digital presence were thus forced to rethink their models for survival.
For food and grocery enterprises, ecommerce platforms were key for their survival, as sit-in services were prohibited with customers restricted by social distancing rules. It was a period where more customers boarded the ecommerce food service train. Several local restaurants partnered with Jumia to keep their food, beverage and grocery service going during the lockdown. One of such businesses is Sooyah Bistro owned by popular Pop Singer Bankole Wellington.
“The lockdown was an incredibly challenging period for most people and businesses alike. Sales dropped drastically, companies shut down, and a lot of people lost their jobs. We’re grateful that Jumia kept their operation going; it was reassuring to customers, helped give them options for food at a very uncertain and difficult time, and for vendors like us, it was a huge help to still be able to keep sales going during that period.
The one thing we didn’t want to have to do was to do a mass layoff like a lot of other companies; at that point it wasn’t so much about making profit, as it was about making payroll. And even though we ran a limited operation during the lockdown, the sales we got through Jumia helped greatly in keeping our employees paid, and our operation running,” said the singer.
Other restaurants such as Chicken Republic, Sweet Sensation, Kilimanjaro, Drumstick, to mention a few, have also embraced Jumia to reach more customers. The progress made in the online food community during the lockdown was captured in the recent food index report released by Africa’s leading e-tailer, Jumia.
As contained in the report, grocery retailing continues to expand, as consumers seek comfort and convenience when shopping for food. Online food delivery is gaining momentum through companies such as Jumia Food. Quoting the report, “the food segment was the market’s most lucrative, with total revenues of $33.7bn, equivalent to 75% of the market’s overall value. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for food rose significantly, especially online food delivery as a result of the lockdown and social distancing guidelines. Many people relied heavily on food delivery as opposed to shopping in grocery markets.”
The Sooyah Bistro boss was upbeat about the future of food delivery service in Nigeria which according to him will be hugely influenced by technology and its accompanying marketplace platforms. “I think one of the trends that we’re seeing on the rise is the demand for food delivery services. That was already the case prior to the Covid-induced lockdown era, but the lockdown certainly escalated it exponentially, especially in a metropolitan area like Lagos, the traffic challenges alone are enough to encourage people to stay in the comfort of their homes and offices and have the food come to them. We’re even seeing an uptick in people who choose to use Grocery delivery services as well.
“There’s also an increase in food trucks, pop-up restaurants, and quick service food options. I think the use of technology, especially as regards delivery services and retail/point-of-sale/inventory management systems will continue to be the number one game changer in the Nigerian Food scene. Another point is food restaurants embracing social media to engage their customers, and customers embracing their favourite food brands online as well. About a year or so ago, we only had a little over 1,000 followers on Sooyah Bistro’s Instagram handle. Right now that number is at about 21,000 – so brands like ours are embracing social media as a way of telling our stories, communicating our culture and connecting with our customers, and the customers themselves are being receptive to engaging with their favourite food spots in that way,” he said.
BUA DENIES INCREASE IN THE PRICE OF ITS CEMENT, FROWNS AT CARTEL- LIKE OPERATION TO DETERMINE PRODUCT PRICES
The BUA group has denied increase in the price of it’s cement. The clarification came as a result of requests from customers as well as distributors who have been calling to find out whether, like DANGOTE Cement BUA had also increased its own price by 260 Naira.
In a signed statement released this afternoon, the BUA group insists that it stands by its earlier decision not to increase cement price which was communicated on April 24, 2021.
According to the management of BUA, they are aware that Dangote decided to increase the price of it’s cement by 260 NAIRA from June 14, 2021. The management also noted that even though there had been decline in cement demand due to commencement of rainy season, any further increase in price will disrupt, the normalisation or stabilisation of prices.
The BUA group further stated that they will always be willing to play their role as a responsible corporate entity rather than associate with others to form a cartel to fix prices which will ultimately not be in the best interest of Nigerians.
In their words, ‘ The timing is not right for any increase on BUA’s part and we do not have any justifiable business reason to increase to increase our prices any time soon.
They also hope that the price increase by Dangote will not disrupt the downward trend of cement price movement
Dangote $2 Billion Urea Fertilizer Plant Pushes Out 120 Trucks Everyday..… Excites marketers, farmers in North
After months of speculations, Dangote Urea fertilizer is now finally on sales nationwide and it currently pushes out a minimum of 120 trucks per day across the country
Group Executive Director, (Strategy, Capital Projects & Portfolio Development) · Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, revealed to the press over the weekend that the Plant which has the capacity to turn out more than 4,500 tonnes of urea per day will conveniently meet the local demand and even produce for exports.
According to him: “…We have the capacity to turn out 4,500 tonnes of Urea everyday…this is a bulk application fertilizer…each crop in Nigeria or globally will require Nitrogen and this is a rich fertilizer, having 46 per cent nitrogen…The company has the capacity to meet local demand and also export to African countries… Currently the demand is less than 1 million tonnes and we alone can produce 3 million tonnes, so we can easily meet local demand and also produce for export to other west African countries.”
Aside fertilizer production, the company, according to Edwin is already working to support the farmers with training on application of the fertilizer and even establish laboratories across the country for proper soil examination.\
“The uniqueness of this plant, apart from the fact that we are producing is the focus on farmers’ support, on training, education, development as we are now establishing laboratories across the country and even mobile laboratories where we can go drive around and take soil samples for proper examination to effectively grow the agricultural outputs across the country”
The Urea Fertilizer plant was built to tap into Nigeria’s demand for fertilizer, a critical component of achieving food sufficiency for Africa’s most populous country.
The Fertilizer plant is expected to manufacture 3 million metric tonnes of urea per annum, with a view to reducing the nation’s fertilizer imports, and generating $400m annual foreign exchange from export to Africa countries.
Meanwhile marketers and farmers in Kano have described the newly introduced Dangote Fertilizer as a game changer and a forecast for the expected agricultural revolution in the country.
Marketers and farmers who were apparently excited, over the weekend welcomed the more-than ten trucks that entered Kano markets at the weekend.
Speaking at the event organized by Dan Hydro Company in Kano to mark the introduction of the fertilizer into the northern market, chairman of the Kano state Agro Dealers Association Alhaji Shuaibu Akarami said agro dealers have confidence in Dangote fertilizer as they have in all his products, adding that as a dealer who spent decades in the business he has discovered that Dangote fertilizer will have no problem penetrating the market in the North.
“I have checked the product and have found out that it will have no problem penetrating the market. With my experience in agro products, I can authoritatively say the product has met our expectations and that has confirmed the confidence we have in Dangote fertilizer and other sister products of the Dangote Group,” he said.
The Dan-Hydro fertilizer Company in Kano which took delivery of the first batch of trucks in Kano said the timing and strategy for the introduction are rife.
Head of operations, Dan- Hydro operations Mr. Hamadi Sekou Drammeh said the Dangote fertilizer conforms to all set standard required by the regulatory agencies.
He said the phenomenon of perennial shortage of the fertilizer product will be over in the country.
He said as part of its public enlightenment plan, the company was going to work with all stakeholders in the agricultural sectors.
In the same vein, Sales Manager of Dan Hydro Mr. Sulaiman Tanko assured that the product will be sold at a reasonable price that will enable fair competition in the market.
Jumia Marks 9th Anniversary with 60% discount, partners Unilever, Xiaomi, Nivea
Nigeria’s leading e-commerce platform, Jumia, is celebrating nine years of e-commerce journey with a sales campaign aimed at celebrating customers, sellers, and partners on its platform. The campaign will run from June 11th until 27th, 2021.
Jumia’s 9th anniversary which also doubles as the anniversary of e-commerce in Nigeria, since the e-commerce giant paved the way for online shopping, is offering 60% discount in a sales campaign tagged “Celebrating You”, aimed at celebrating new and loyal consumers. The discount will apply to categories such as Electronics, Beauty, Fashion, Phones & Tablets, Groceries, Appliances and many more.
Partners for this campaign include over 11,000 sellers on the Jumia Nigeria platform and international brands such as Unilever, Xiaomi, Nivea, Reckitt Benkisser and Infinix.
Jumia Nigeria CEO, Massimiliano Spalazzi said: “It has simply been an amazing journey. If I went back to how we started and where we are, being the number one e-commerce company in Africa and in Nigeria, it makes us very humble. We believe that e-commerce has played an even more important role in people’s life and to celebrate the achievement and to better serve our consumers and sellers, that is why the slogan for our 9th anniversary is ‘Celebrating You’.”
For the anniversary window, customers will enjoy up to 60% off on a diverse list of brands across categories including Groceries (Unilever, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Carrefour), Sanitary & Hygiene (Reckitt Benckiser, P&G, Henkel, GSK), Beauty (l’Oreal, Maybelline, Garnier, Nivea), Phones (Samsung, Xiaomi, Nokia, Huawei), Electronics (Intel, HP, Philips, Sony), lifestyle (Playstation 4) and many more.
“The anniversary will be celebrating you as our consumer, employee, seller, logistics partner, celebrating you as our client and those in the ecosystem and our environment for which we make life better every day,” Spalazzi added.
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