Online Mall Helps Nigerians Buy From Popular UK & U.S. Retailers

1823, a new platform founded this year by Chris Folayan, aims to help buyers in Nigeria to buy clothing and other consumer products from top UK and US retailers.

The platform aims to ship to millions of shoppers in Nigeria, as well as Nigerians living abroad who want to ship items home to their families in Africa. MallforAfrica works in partnership with Macy’, BestBuy, GAP among others. MallforAfrica also ships ships several tons of merchandise to oil-rich Nigeria every month allowing users to pay for goods via prepaid MallforAfrica WebCards which give MallforAfrica ability to handle all the payments,  shipping, currency conversion and duties for both parties.

“There is a significant population in Nigeria, and many other African countries, who can afford and want to purchase Western products, says Chris. “But for many years, security issues and logistics made this difficult or even impossible.  But now we are able to use digital technology to offer Africa the access it has wanted, while guaranteeing retailers that their transactions will be secure and delivered safely.”

mall4afUsers visit, then get access to over 7.8 billion items. They purchase MFA WebCards, load them with cash, and then use the cards to purchase goods online. MallforAfrica then ships the purchases to a USA warehouse facility, where they are inspected to be sure they are the correct and undamaged items, since returns are not permitted.  Then they are air-freighted via DHL and other means to Nigeria, where they are delivered either to one of the many MallforAfrica pickup sites or directly to the purchaser’s door.

At the moment operations in Nigeria are overseen by Tope Folayan, Chris’ brother, who has a Stanford engineering degree and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.  Together, the Folayan brothers have built MallforAfrica into one of the leading e-commerce sites on the African continent.

“MallforAfrica enables Western retailers to expand their brands into a vital and growing African economy.  While retaining their identities and brands, these retailers can reach out to a highly receptive consumer base in a transaction that is guaranteed for both seller and buyer,” Chris Folayan.