Nigerian informal retailers turn tech-savvy to stock up amid pandemic

LAGOS/ABUJA (Reuters) – When the coronavirus outbreak forced shops to close in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos, kiosk store owner Funmilayo Akinola weighed up her safety against the need to make a living.

After deciding that she couldn’t afford to stop working, she faced the challenge of replenishing her stock as the pandemic has made it harder for informal traders to buy wholesale goods due to safety measures disrupting supply chains.

The answer lay in a logistics firm that provides an online marketplace where manufacturers and retailers connect.

Lagos-based Trade Depot delivered goods that she bought using the company’s app.

“(Without Trade Depot) I would have just locked up my shop, because my husband will not allow me to go inside the market to go and be hustling for goods,” said Akinola.

She now uses her phone to order stock delivered by vans or tuk tuks

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