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Mobile Fashion Store Brings Shopping Spree To Your Doorstep In Lagos

posted 17 May 2013, 08:17 by Mpelembe   [ updated 17 May 2013, 08:18 ]

Fashion on wheels, a mobile fashion boutique selling clothes, shoes, bags and other accessories, and even fitted with a changing room is transforming the way women shop in Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos, by giving them a shopping experience right at their door steps.

LAGOSNIGERIA  (REUTERS) - Early morning rush hour in Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos and 25-year-old Olari Ajayi is manoeuvring her old white truck through notoriously congested streets.

Ajayi, a fashion stylist and entrepreneur is the owner of a mobile fashion boutique called "Fashion on Wheels", which provides busy women with a one-stop convenient way to shop - at their door steps.

"I just figured you know... I need something that is, that the people can enjoy the experience while shopping, you know it's hot, the climate in Nigeria is one that you can't stand outside for too long, you know without feeling so hot, you know I just thought you know what, let me get something big, with an AC (Air Condition), the clothes are hung, and I thought why not just have my shop on wheels you know, the rates in Nigeria right now are just so alarming, you know so I didn't even bother considering a shop, I just wanted something mobile. I can change my location any day, I am not restricted to one area," she said.

Ajayi left her job at a marketing company in London in 2011 to set up the business selling clothing and fashion accessories from the trunk of her car.

This year she bought an old truck and turned it into a mobile walk-in closet that is fully stocked with handpicked imported merchandise from Britain and America. The truck even has a build in fitting room.

Ajayi says the business has grown in popularity, mainly due to the fact that unlike location stores, she can meet her customers at their 'point of need' so to speak, rather than wait for them to come to her.

"We don't necessarily have bad days except when it's raining and we can't really like open the truck. Unlike a shop where you could still operate, you know, even though nobody would really attend, you know, but there's no competition really, we are the first and so, and every other person who is on ground and sort of have a brick and mortar shop experience, they will tell you that in a day, because they are confined to a particular location, they make this much money, unlike us, we can go to the rich people today, we can go to the average, we choose where we want to go and set shop," Ajayi said.

The mobile boutique has impressed many like first time customer, Felicia Okpala, who is often too busy to spend time in traffic or go into town to shop.

"The concept is beautiful, for me this is the first time I am seeing this and for this to be happening in Nigeria, I don't know if it's happening anywhere else, but coming to Lagos I think it's fantastic, it's a great idea and I think it's life made easy," said Okpala.

Ajayi, who also owns a clothing store in one of Lagos' fashion districts hopes to expand "Fashion on Wheels" in the next few years to include more trucks that can cater for customers living in other parts of Nigeria.