The African Association of Interior Designers Interview: "The Nigerian market is a very big one, high quality but affordable products will no doubt return investment for foreign investors"


1. Can you provide us with a background details of your Association, highlighting your role in the Nigerian Retail market?

The African Association of Interior Designers was founded and incorporated in 2011, since inception the association as a professional organisation for interior designers in Africa has sought to create an effective niche of design professionals who are collectively motivated through several activities to  improve the socio-economic standards of Africans by use of interior design tools and capacities. 

 We encourage our members to improve standards by retailing the best of furniture and accessories and a number of our members produce locally high  quality pieces, our aim is to continue to improve the interior design value chain and connect designers, suppliers, retailers and manufacturers.


2. The retail sector is a huge market in Nigeria with diverse trends, how has your organisation been able to cope with these trends.

Acquiring Cutting edge and up to date knowledge through professional development is the norm for members of the AAID, the association through several media channels and workshops etc. continues to strive to update her members on emerging trends so they can keep abreast of the fast-changing world that typifies the design industry.

3. Home, Décor and Giftware Expo is an platform for local and international suppliers to meet with corporate buyers and wholesalers from Nigeria and West Africa, how intend to encourage your members to leverage on this opportunity?

Our members are always on a look out for new opportunities and partnerships, we have in time past been involved in B2B networking meeting with manufacturers from Europe etc so this isn’t a first for us, we have an highly effective distribution channel for reaching all members through social media, newsletters and bulk SMS, they are already a keen to opportunities of this nature and only need to be informed to take full advantage of the great advantages the Home Décor and Giftware Expo presents.

4. Please identify the major challenges retailers and wholesalers face in Nigeria sourcing for products.

The major challenge for retailers and wholesalers is that of having to source for foreign manufactured goods by themselves, a number of interior design firms and furniture showrooms are SME’s and to have to travel to purchase and freight goods to Nigeria particularly given the current value of the Naira is quite herculean, we will encourage foreign based manufacturers to consider shipping directly to partners and distributors in Nigeria or set us factories in the Country.

5. What opportunities do you see available for your members during the  Expo?

Members of the AAID will no doubt benefit immensely from the Expo, from opportunities to network with other designers, to meeting with suppliers and manufacturers directly, the Expo presents an unrivalled platform for improving the interior design potentials of the Country.

6. What growth opportunities do you identify in the Nigerian retail market for foreign investors?

The Nigerian market is a very big one, high quality but affordable products will no doubt return investment for foreign investors, investors who further cut cost through setting up factories in Nigeria get an even better opportunity to improve profit margins, Nigeria is an emerging market and the opportunity for brands is almost endless.

7. What growth levels do you envision in the retail market in 2017?

Though growth has been doused by the current economic recession the need for affordable furniture and furnishings remains high, manufacturers who think out of the box, reduce design waste and ensure function will make some level of growth. Minimalism is the watchword though.

Read more Expert Interviews