By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
Mall for Africa, an award-winning patented e-commerce platform, announced that it will add cars from the United States the long list of items that it sells.
The company said it will sell American made cars to its customers in Nigeria, effective immediately, with plans to expand to 16 additional countries over the next year.
“Over the years, we have received tremendous interest from customers who have wanted to purchase cars,” Chris Folayan, CEO of Mall for Africa, said in a news release.
“As a company we always strive to be the best and offer our customers items that would otherwise be unavailable. We are proud to say that our customers in Nigeria can now purchase cars, in any color, with any feature they desire,” Folayan said.
Mall for Africa, also known as Africa’s largest online mall, currently offers millions of products from more than 250 leading retailers in the United States, United Kingdom and China.
It handles every aspect of the order and return cycle, providing customers and retailers with an effortless, secure and accessible solution to online shopping. With a few simple clicks, customers can pick out their dream car and request a quote from a reputable dealer in the United States.
Both standard and luxury cars will be available, including all makes and models from 2008 to present.
The customer simply has to fill out a form with feature preferences and one of Mall for Africa’s USA-based expert car consultants will reply within one to two business days with a quote.
In a 2015 profile on Folayan by CNN, it was noted that Africa’s population has steadily gained in financial affluence, with numbers of multimillionaires predicted to rise by 59 percent over the next decade. In spite of this news, many U.S. retailers don’t ship their wares to the continent, fearing fraud or cumbersome import procedures.
That gave Folayan the idea to start Mall for Africa, an online platform through which shoppers in Nigeria and Kenya can buy products from America, Britain and, now, China.
“The main problem is that many western companies don’t have much knowledge about Africa,” Folayan said. “When I talk to companies I tell them Africa is a huge market – they are probably not tapping into billions in profit. And Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy,” he said, something a delegation from the National Newspaper Publishers Association reported on during a recent pilgrimage to the African nation.
Folayan, the U.S.-based entrepreneur, said he would regularly travel to his native Nigeria carrying several suitcases stuffed with American-branded clothes, sunglasses and makeup his friends and family asked him to bring. But it was when he wasn’t allowed to check in for a flight with 10 tightly packed bags, even while paying for the extra weight, that he knew he was onto a business idea.
“That was a turning point. I realized that people knew exactly what they wanted, they could see a product online and had the money to buy it, but there was no one who would ship it to Nigeria,” Folayan said.