December 4, 2017
CNN Explores the First Luxury E-Commerce Platform with Polo Luxury Group
CNN Traders dives into the world of Luxury, fashion and technology through the eyes of the #1 Luxury Retail Brand in West Africa, Polo Luxury Group. With several locations in Nigeria, this retailer is breaking the mold with West Africa’s first multi-retailer E-Commerce platform. The International news platform visited Polo Avenue, a multi brand luxury retailer with locations in Lagos, Abuja and Accra, Ghana to interview Executive Director of the company, Jennifer Obayuwana.
According to CNN, the Tradernomics of global luxury is shifting as the global luxury market sales is said to be worth about $300 Billion. While China, Europe, and the United States is at continue to see modest gains, the number of millionaires and HNWI in African cities such as Lagos, Luanda, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Cairo continues to rise at a fast pace. Consumers in emerging markets like Nigeria continue to drive luxury growth responding to an increasing and insatiable demand for luxury goods across the continent.
The Polo Avenue’s new digital platform offers a highly curated and elevated shopping experience for it’s clients. Multiple luxury brands have reported double sales growth and lead profitability, while bags and accessories continues to be the fastest growth sector.
“The expectation of the luxury shopper is extremely high here in Africa. Our clients are highly intelligent. They know the difference between perpetual calendar Swiss watches and grand complications. They are also well traveled with discerning taste. Every client is offered their own Private Concierge shopper who can select items based on each clients tastes & needs. There is unmeasurable value in being able to meet each client’s expectations,” says Jennifer Obayuwana.
Founded in the late 1980’s, by Business Tycoon John Obayuwana, Polo is the official luxury retailer for Gucci, Rolex, Chopard, Cartier, Roger DuBuis and the world’s most prestigious timepieces. As the pioneers of the luxury industry in Nigeria, Polo has shifted towards a digital-first mindset, new store concepts and a marketing strategy that’s tailored to the local and international consumer who craves authenticity, reliability, and an elevated shopping experience.
The brand’s E-commerce launches in January 2018 and will feature a highly editorialized platform, with products from Polo partners Gucci, Les Petiti Jouers, Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Marco de Vincenzo and many others.
December 4, 2017
Forbes Afrique dives into the world of the Business of Luxury in Africa, a business Forbes describes as a billion dollar industry in Africa, with Jennifer Obayuwana as the cover star
In West Africa, that market is ruled by Polo Limited, a 30 year old business responsible for the proliferation of luxury goods. With locations in Nigeria and Ghana, Polo Luxury is at the forefront of luxury sales in West Africa. Despite the economic outlook in Nigeria, this is an industry that has maintained consistency in the African Sector.
In the Forbes Afrique cover story,Cartier Africa CEO, Alessandro Patti says,
“We (Cartier) see Nigeria as a strategic market with great potential. Being very satisfied with the results with our partner Polo Luxury Group, it was natural to opt for a long-term vision. In 2016, a Cartier watchmaker area was installed in the Polo Avenue at Hilton’s multi-brand in Abuja. Over the years, Nigeria and Cartier have developed a strong relationship and we are proud of the development of our activities. Our clientele is made up of connoisseurs looking for the know-how, beauty, creativity and elegance that make Cartier’s success. As far as watchmaking is concerned, generous diameters and complicated movements are preferred.
Read excerpts from Jennifer’s interview below:
On the story of Polo Luxury: Polo Luxury is a labor of love and hard work founded 30 years ago by my father, John Obayuwana. Born from the desire to spread beauty and nobility. Our company was created to enrich people’s lives with products of the finest quality and craftsmanship.
Over the years, Polo has evolved into an enterprise that consists of Polo Limited and Polo Avenue that offers a diverse portfolio of the world’s prestigious luxury brands, such as Rolex, Cartier, Chopard, Hublot, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana. My father played a momentous role as a pioneer in this field, defining and shaping the luxury industry in West Africa at a time where it was non-existent.
On her position with Polo: As the daughter of a pioneer in the luxury industry, I grew up with a passion and interest in luxury and beauty that ultimately lead me into the path of the family business. I grew up in the business. Every summer holiday, I worked in sales on the shop floor. I also believe I was equipped for the role early on by studying International Business Administration at the American University of Paris and International Relations in Franklin. Those experiences helped mold me into the woman that I am today. I’ve also pursued Executive courses in INSEAD, Lagos Business School and Colombia which has positioned me effectively to be able to add value to the organization.
On her special approach to management and women leading differently than men: Firstly I would say being a good listener. While a majority of decision-making rests with the leader, there is so much to learn from one’s teammates when you patiently listen to their views and opinions. Secondly, I would say service. All great leaders (women alike) should serve others. This is at the heart of Polo Luxury’s success as a whole. In response to the latter part of the question, I strongly believe that women lead intuitively. In my opinion, Women in high-level positions exhibit the same leadership behaviors as their male counterparts.
On the business model of the luxury industry in Nigeria: Nigeria is the largest market in Africa and with the purchasing power of Nigerians steadily on the rise, I would say quality partnerships and impeccable one-on-one service are the working models for our business within the region. We ensure that we get the best from our international partners, keeping the focus on the best of After Sales Service. For example, we have a Rolex installed service centre with highly qualified horologists, trained to the highest standards by our technical partners Chopard, Rolex, Longines etc. This and many more unique quality service help retain our leading position in the industry.
Read more in the latest issue of Forbes Afrique.
November 17, 2016
Roger Dubuis and Polo Luxury, A Perfect Blend for Luxury Connoisseurs in Nigeria
Roger Dubuis timepieces bear the unmistakable imprint of an effervescent and passionate approach to design that supersedes constraints and conventions. Materials, shapes, colours and components are the golden threads masterfully woven into a vivid tapestry of exhilarating, avant-garde designs. Roger Dubuis calibres cover the entire spectrum of horological complexity, offering a stunning range of additional functions, often combined in innovative ways. The absolute technical mastery achieved by the Geneva based watch manufacturer in this domain gives it exceptional freedom to offer new and ever more refined variations on the infinite theme of time management.
Powerful, aesthetic, exceptional mechanism are some of the remarkable words in describing the Swiss watch manufacturer, Roger Dubuis. Its remarkable timepieces bear the unmistakable imprint of an effervescent and passionate approach to design that supersedes constraints and conventions. Polo Luxury Group hosts Jean-Marc Pontroue, CEO of Roger Dubuis, one of the leading luxury brands in the world on an exclusive 3-day visit to Nigeria.
November 26, 2014
Shape Your Time
A display of raw energy and emotion brought to life by Bruno Aveillan, with dreamlike aesthetics that launch Cartier into the stratosphere of the finest watchmaking traditions, while casting them onwards into the future.
Entrepreneurs, visionaries, creative and passionate people who, like the founders of Cartier, are connected to the world of tomorrow.
August 18, 2014
THE EPHEMERAL BALLON BLEU DE CARTIER FLORAL-MARQUETRY PARROT WATCH
Cartier’s Ballon Bleu De Cartier Floral-Marquetry Parrot watch brings a new form of craftsmanship to watchmaking with this exquisite timepiece, exclusively available at Polo Limited. Cartier has built up a formidable collection of exceptional watches by following the ethos of challenging tradition with creativity and innovation. With this watch, Cartier has done so through reviving the rare and forgotten craft of floral marquetry.
In celebration of the ephemeral beauty of flowers, the watch is comprised of carefully cut flower petals assembled to form the plumage of a parrot. The vibrant petals are complimented by fine gemstones such as onyx, diamonds and emerald, to create a truly stunning work of craftsmanship.
May 19, 2014
Managing Director Of Polo Luxury Group, John Obayuwana Speaks At The Financial Times Business Of Luxury Summit
John Obayuwana, the Founder and Managing Director of Polo Luxury Group participated at the recently concluded Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit 2014 as a subject expert on Africa.
The Summit took place at the St. Regis Hotel in Mexico City on May 11th – May 13th. This year, the summit took a deep-dive into the markets of the future, from the geographic to the virtual, and the value systems that make the difference. Mr. Obayuwana spoke on a panel that focused on the economies and the luxury industry of Turkey and Africa. Other members of his panel included Christian Louboutin, Burak Celet, and William Hutchings.
Mr. Obayuwana discussed the current state, the challenges and opportunities that exist for international luxury brands in Africa particularly in Nigeria.
He stated that, “Wealthy Nigerians have a huge appetite for luxury from shopping abroad.” Speaking on the preference exhibited by Nigerians when consuming luxury, he said, “In Nigeria, customers are not just looking for logos, they are looking for quality and great service.” In addition, he spoke about the challenges that have inhibited the luxury industry in Nigeria such as lack of power supply, high cost of operation, lack of human capital, and the lack of retail infrastructure.
Mr. Obayuwana explained, “Despite a chronic dearth of infrastructure, Lagos alone could generate $2-3billion in luxury sales.” The current consumption of luxury goods by Nigerian in shopping destinations such as Paris, Dubai, UK etc. show the spending power of Nigerians in the luxury sector. Furthermore, he stressed the importance of paying attention to the middle class in order to ensure the sustainable development of the luxury industry.
During the panel session, Mr. Obayuwana took a stance on a serious issue by bringing out a sign with #Bring Our Girls Back inscribed on it. He used the opportunity to educate the attendees about the ongoing struggle to safeguard the return of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Borno State.
Mr. Obayuwana has played a significant role in shaping and defining the landscape of the luxury industry in Africa. He continues to do so with his on going effort to ensure the application of international standards in the retail luxury industry in Nigeria, which is evident at Polo Limited and Polo Avenue.
The Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit this year attracted senior executives, industry leaders, brand experts, executives and decision makers of the luxury industry such as the likes of Designer and CEO of OBE, Stella McCartney; Founder of Christian Louboutin, Christian Louboutin; President of Carolina Herrera, Caroline Brown; CEO of Italia Independent, Lapo Elkann; Executive Chairman of the Estée Lauder Companies, William Lauder; President of Bottega Veneta, Marco Bizzarri and Fashion Director & Chief Fashion Critic of the New York Times, Vanessa Friedman.
March 30, 2014
Polo Limited is Selected the Official Time keeper at the Lagos International Polo Tournament 2014
Nigeria’s foremost luxury goods company won the right to be the official timekeeper for the Lagos Polo Tournament, which kicked off on February 19 until March 2nd 2014.
Confirming Polo Limited’s appointment, President of the Lagos Polo Club, Honourable Habeeb A.B. Fasinro stated that “The Lagos Polo Club is delighted to have the number one luxury watches company in Nigeria serve as the official timekeeper of the 2014 Lagos International Polo Tournament.”
Honourable Fasinro continued that ” Polo Limited’s practice of precision and respect for tradition aligns with the Lagos Polo Club, which is why we are excited about Polo’s involvement in this tournament”.
In accepting the official appointment, John Obayuwana, Managing Director of Polo Limited responded that, “Polo Limited is honoured to be the official timekeeper of one of the most prestigious Polo clubs in Africa”. Mr. Obayuwana further expressed pleasure in being a part of the Lagos International Polo tournament, which he described, “as a tournament which outstanding players from all over the world display unparalleled performance”.
In concluding his acceptance speech, Mr. Obayuwana emphasised that ”Polo Limited has a long-standing history of supporting the game of Polo. As the number one purveyor of luxury goods in Nigeria, we understand the importance of precise timing during a match, as such, Polo Limited is bringing back our expertise and tradition to the Lagos Polo Club”.
March 26, 2014
Polo Limited Unveils Montblanc at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja
Polo Limited, Nigeria’s foremost luxury company has launched a pop-up shop at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja. The pop-up shop offers an exquisite collection of limited and special edition writing instruments, timepieces, and leather accessories, which are all available for purchase at the Transcorp Hotel for a limited period.
For the past 100 years, Montblanc has been synonymous with the finest writing culture with the white star emblem of the brand symbolizes the snow-covered peak of the Mont Blanc – the highest mountain in the Alps and the European Union. The brand is known for its sophisticated handmade writing instruments, leather goods, timepieces and other accessories. Several one of a kind writing instruments are available at the pop-up shop i.e. the John Lennon Special Edition Fountain Pen which is a tribute to honour John Lennon one of the greatest artists of modern time.
In describing the inauguration of the first Montblanc pop up store in Nigeria and its appeal to customers, Polo Limited’s Managing Director, John Obayuwana stated, “At Polo, we offer our customers exceptional luxury products. Montblanc has always been part of our portfolio; to us Montblanc exemplifies the highest in quality and craftsmanship and it is a brand revered by many. Mr. Obayuwana concluded that the pop-up shop located at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel “affords our customers a great opportunity to appreciate and purchase timeless pieces from Montblanc exclusive collection at their leisure and for the attendees of the Oil & Gas conference.
Polo Limited’s Montblanc pop-up store is currently open at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja for a limited period of ten days.