Luxury brands target Nigeria's wealthy elite

March 22, 2012 - 4:25 AM

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Luxury goods sellers, from Champagne to sports cars, are now targeting Nigeria's wealthy.

The rich in Nigeria — business owners, oil industry executives and politicians — have a healthy appetite for top shelf brands, but have had to shop in Dubai, London and Paris to find them. Now, sellers of luxury goods are catching on that seemingly gratuitous displays of wealth are the norm in the country of 160 million, despite extreme poverty.

A McKinsey & Co. report says the commercial capital of Lagos will have consumer spending of $25 billion or more by 2020.

Since independence in 1960, wealth flowed into Nigeria as crude oil pumped out. Other industries, including banking and communications, have also developed over the last decade, creating more opportunities.