Kingsway Stores

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Kingsway Stores is a department store owned by the the United African Company. It was one of the largest department stores in the country during its run of nationwide existence. During the mid 1980s, it began to sell many of its outlets to Nigerian specialists interested in using it for furniture, drugs and other related goods and services.


The modern retail shop came into play in Nigeria after the bombardment of Lagos by the British in a move to stop the slave trade. The capture of Lagos presented an opportunity for some foreign merchants to invest in retail and merchandise outlets for their produce imports. However, the traditional open market system and fairs like that of those in Mexico, proved to be a major competitor for the shops. A type of the modern shop that later emerged thereafter, is the department store, characterized as a large shop with sales upwards of 100,000 pounds. The first of such venture in Nigeria was Kingsway Stores, established in the country in 1948. It was incoporated with an equity capital of about 4,000,000 pounds. The store brought in a mixture of general consumer goods and fabrics and goods mostly common to western consumers. The company aslo created coffee outlet which evolved into quick service restaurants ala Mcdonalds.


Mabogunje. "The Evolution and Analysis of the Retail Structure of Lagos, Nigeria", Economic Geography > Vol. 40, No. 4. 1964. p 308, p 314.