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Bokku challenges Shoprite, Spar, other super malls’ dominance



Bokku challenges Shoprite, Spar, other super malls' dominance

…sets up shops in Lagos neighbourhoods

A new entrant into the Nigerian retail business, Bokku Mart, is challenging the dominance of Shoprite, Adidde, Justrite, Spar and other super malls in the products retailing business, Business Hallmark’s findings have revealed.

Bokku outlets spread across Lagos are now besieged daily by consumers in need of groceries and household products, such as toiletries, soft drinks, frozen foods, foodstuffs, among others.

According to BH findings, more Nigerians are returning to big retail outlets known for their wide range of products and competitive prices as costs of goods in neighbourhood shops and markets continue to rise beyond their means.

Bokku’s rapid expansion is being helped by the biting economic recession in the country, which is forcing consumers to look for bargains and cheaper goods.

Owned by Atreos Limited, a retail investment holding platform, Bokku was established in Nigeria on 30th of September 2022 and designed after a similar model of hard discount chain in Germany.

Owing largely to its wide acceptance by bargain seeking Nigerians, the discount grocery chain has grown from a one shop entity to a retail colossus with several branches in just 17 months.

On Tuesday, February 27, 2024, it opened its 53rd store on Agbe Road, New Oko-Oba, Agege, where basic food items like rice, oil, sauces, snacks and other household items like beverages, personal care like soaps and toothpaste, cleaning products and detergents are sold.

Bokku, literally meaning plenty, has become the toast of many households owing to its competitive prices, compared to its competitors, whose product prices are relatively higher.

Several visits to the supermarket’s outlets at Jonathan Coker, Fagba; College Road, Ogba; Iju Road, Ishaga; Agbado Road, Jankara; Santos Avenue, Oko-Oba and Aina Street, Ojodu Berger, confirmed consumers new found love for the chain store.

While the shops are broken into sections like groceries, bakery, detergents, beverages and the likes, BH observed that the most visited section at Bokku Mart is the bakery, where customers often queue, sometimes for hours to buy just one loaf of bread.

According to a customer, apart from being relatively cheaper (N950 per 900g loaf) compared to its peers in the market, which sell from N1,300 to N1,600, Bokku Bread is also tasty and nutritious.

Owing to the rowdy and chaotic scenarios that often play out at Bokku’s Jankara bakery section, the management recently employed the services of a mobile policeman (MOPOL) to ensure law and order.

BH also discovered several factors responsible for customers preference for Bokku.

For instance, Bokku’s owners, Atreos Limited, have succeeded in snatching customers from its relatively bigger competitors using its ‘one shop in each neighbourhood’ policy.
According to a source at Atreos, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the firm has been able to spread its tentacles by employing the 200 – 250 m2 policy.

“What this simply means is that in every 200 to 250 square metres, you must find a Bokku Mart to attend to your needs.


“We are not there yet, but we’re doing great. We currently have 53 outlets in Lagos. And mind you, these are fairly middle sized to large outlets.

“Meanwhile, our competitors are far behind, with the closest doing 4,000 m2”, the source stated.

Also, all Bokku stores, it was discovered, allow customers to bring in their own shopping bags in order to bring down prices.
However, the supermarket sells branded bags to customers, who fail to bring along their shopping bags, with the branded bags going for N50 (small) and N100 for big ones.

“It is a market strategy employed by management to help customers cut down on costs. At the end of the day, the N50 and N100 saved on bags goes a long way in bringing down cost”, said a Bokku attendant at the Fagba branch who spoke with BH.

Another strategy employed by the management of Bokku is the decision to crash the prices of most of its products.

“Most Nigerians patronise us because of our low prices. The price of most of our products are between 15 to 30% cheaper than others in the open market.

“We are able to achieve this because of the massive discount and bonuses we get from suppliers (manufactures) for all bulk purchases.

“With the discount and bonuses spread over our products, prices are further pushed down, thus making them more attractive to buyers”, a supervisor at one of the supermarket’s branch explained.

BH checks confirmed the supervisor’s claim. For instance, a 50cl bottle of Sprite, Coca Cola, Fanta, goes for N216.66, compared to the selling price of between N255 to N300 at Shoprite and neighbourhood shops.

Also, a 50cl bottle of Mirinda, Pepsi and 7up goes for N200, compared to the selling price of between N249.99 to N300 at Shoprite and neighbourhood shops.

BH checks also revealed that the price tags on several products at Shoprite, Justrite, Adidde and Best Choice outlets are much higher than the ones at Bokku Mart.

For instance, while a 500g Honeywell Spaghetti at Bokku sells for N680, the same brand and size goes for N730 at Shoprite. The difference in prices applies to almost all consumables.

Visits to Shoprite and Justrite outlets at the Ikeja and Sango Malls and Abule-Egba and Alakuko respectively, showed that while the outfits still enjoy visits from customers, there was a significant drop in patronage as many Lagosians, who before now troop to the malls for needed goods have resorted to visiting Bokku stores in their neighbourhoods.

For instance, the hitherto bubbling Shoprite outlet at the Ikeja Mall, Alausa, Lagos, was a ghost of its former self as the place was devoid of the usual hustling and bustling, when our correspondent visited last Thursday.

A sales supervisor, who spoke to our correspondent on the development in confidence, admitted that there was significant drop in the volume of purchases due to the harsh economic condition in Nigeria.

“We have never experienced the kind of bad sales we have witnessed in the last six months. Patronage has really gone down. All we hear these days is the cry of Ebilokan.
“As you know, the economy is down at the moment and hard-hit Nigerians are looking for bargains everywhere they can find it.
“Prices of commodities are not static, they change every time, particularly now when we have galloping inflation.


“We can sell a product for a price today and by tomorrow morning, when the manufacturer supplies us, they give to us at an increased price. That means we have to increase the prices of the commodities.

“Our situation is compounded by the high cost of transportation, which has forced many of our customers to patronise retail outlets near them, especially Bokku, which has shops in virtually all the nooks and cranies of Lagos”, the worried sales rep stated.

A shopper residing at Olaniyi Road, New Oko-Oba, Lagos, Tunji Babalola, said he stopped going to Shoprite for his groceries and household needs after Bokku berthed at Abule-Egba.

“Why would I go as far as Ikeja or Sango-Ota in Ogun State just to visit Shoprite for my needs when I can get it at cheaper rates at Justrite and Bokku?

“Apart from their bread, which is good and also cheap compared to other good brands, almost all other goods they (Justrite/Shoprite) sell are more expensive. The place (Shoprite) is now for the rich”, Babalola told our correspondent.

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