Thursday, December 19, 2018 9.00PM / BukolaAkinyele and NifemiTaiyese for Proshare WebTV
Christmas is marked across the globe as the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Over the decades Christians have casually observed the intense secularization of the celebration, seeing it more as a period for the exchange of gifts and well wishes than as a period for sober reflection on life and the spiritual importance of Christ’s earthly mission. The period has more recently been seen as one of engaging in joyous celebrations inclusive of a jolly time with a so-called ‘father Christmas’, originally, a rich German Lord who at the end of each year disguised as a rotund old gentleman with a booming voice and burly team of reindeers who pulled him along as he shared gifts to the poor. Somehow over the years this patron saint of the poor called Nicholas transmuted into a patriarchal figure of the modern festivities known as Christmas, thereby mixing religious purpose with social folklore .
The celebration of the birth of Christ on December 25th of each year (a date a number of religious scholars have contested) has maintained a colourful mix of religious admonition and social festivity.
Several Churches hold services from Catholics holding special mass with the Pope, to Protestants and Pentecostals having special programmes to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the Christ.
The date has also become a national holiday in several countries across the globe with messages of good will broadcast by global leaders.
According to religious scholars the major lesson of the season is humility and love, demonstrated by Christ being born in a lowly manger in Bethlehem, Jerusalem.
As the season gets thrown into full gear with various activities picking up in a frenzy of family reunions, community events, and other social interactions, the period provides a grand opportunity for businesses to increase their revenues.
We take a look at some of the businesses that will take advantage of the season to grow their bottom lines in Nigeria;
Businesse Opportunities In The Christmas Period
Food Commodity Sellers
Key players in the food commodity market will have a busy period attending to millions of Nigerians, eager to buy food items like rice, yams, potatoes, tomatoes, vegetables, onions, pepper, spaghetti, etc to cook and celebrate the season.
The season will mark an increase in the consumption of food items like rice, and will be a good way for those selling the item to make extra cash as they consider increased sale and distribution of the item.
Livestock traders particularly those that sell goats, cows and poultry will enjoy an increased patronage as demand for meat rises during the period.
Christmas is described as an opportunity for people to give gifts as they appreciate their loved ones, friends and associates.
Vendors in the business of gift items, will make brisk sales during the period as Nigerians make purchases of unique gifts such as hampers, wines, clothes, perfume, electronic gadgets, jewellery etc.
The Christmas season is also a period of expressing rampant creativity as the Christmas season gives room for companies, churches, malls, stores, event centres and homes to put up numerous colourful decorations ranging from Christmas trees, lights, Ornaments, and Tinsel.
The decorating of streets and the putting up of Christmas lights have been less spectacular than previous years, especially in places like Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
We however acknowledge Mr Jim Ovia the Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading banking groups, who has consistently provided an ambience of beauty for the AjoseAdeogun axis of Victoria Island, with lovely decorations and lighting that captures the night skyline in an explosion of colours that make passers-by gasp in awe.
The banks effort highlights its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and stands it out as a giant in the service sector in which it has chosen to operate.
Considering the festive season, parties, end-of-year events, retreats , special picnics, weddings, conferences, concerts etc will mean that those that cater for food will be in high demand.
So Food vendors can expect a season of increased activity as demand for their services rise significantly and patrons take advantage of the season to give their customers a unique end of the year experience of food, fun and fanfare. This means people with high culinary skills can expect to have a season of raging revenues.
The period will also be a boon for those who manage “Grill and Barbecue” spots who most likely will experience increased orders for assorted peppered meat stew (asun), shawarma and grilled chicken.
Fabric/ Clothes Sale
Clothe sellers are equally expected to witness a spike in sales as customers defy a slow growing economy (GDP is currently edging ahead at 1.8%) to buy clothes for children and even themselves. Demand for clothes has been softer than last year but has still shown an upward blip.
Those looking for business opportunities during the yuletide should explore fabric and clothes sales.
For anyone looking to earn extra income as a creative artist, they can make customized Christmas cards and distribute through online retail outlets and physical stores.
In recent times e-Christmas cards have also become somewhat of a mild rave.
A large number of people will opt for celebrity-style hairdos over the period, meaning that hairstylists are likely to be in high demand as people whet their sartorial appetites by treating themselves to unique even if pricey hairdos and make up.
Hairstylists will be busy during the period, so expect hair salons and hairstyle shops to be busy with increasing demands as the countdown to Christmas begins.
For budding hairstylists, this is the period to grow business revenue and strengthen brand loyalty. Some hairstylist could chose to engage in home service appointments for extra cash.
Travel & Tour Companies
Travel and Tour Companies and Agencies like Wakanow, will have a busy period making travel appointments and hotel reservations for clients who want to travel to various countries across the globe.
It’s a holiday season and the innovative Travel Companies with unique offerings have a great opportunity to leverage the market to win fresh customers.
Christmas is a period of celebration and women pay close attention to their looks meaning that hairstylists and professional make-up artistes will have their colour pallets and brushes working a full speed.
This is the time ladies let their hair down, quite literally, and let themselves go on a spending binge to dolly themselves up for the season.
Transportation business will be a block-buster money spinning business between December and January as bus, air and train loads of passengers make annual pilgrimages from urban centres to sub-urban communities across the country to visit family and friends.
Major Transport companies are expected to have high patronage especially for inter-state travels which tends to traditionally peak from the 22nd to the 25th of December, 2018.
This train of human movement is usually most visible between Lagos and the South-Eastern parts of the country and Lagos and the South-Southern parts.
Intra State urban taxi service platforms such as Uber and Taxify can also be expected to see a hike in services as fun-lovers dotting different metropolises hire taxicabs to visit popular pleasure spots across various states.
The Hospitality business should experience a boom as Guest Houses, Hotels and Restaurants will cater to Nigerians who want to relax and enjoy the holidays, especially during the Christmas and Boxing day dates (25th and 26th December, 2018)
Smart Hotels, Guest Houses and Restaurants will give discounts during the period.
Leisure parks across the country will enjoy larger patronage during the season, from Wonderland Amusement Park(Abuja) NdubuisiKanu Park(Lagos), Freedom Park (Lagos), Hi-Impact Planet Amusement Park (Lagos-Ibadan Expressway), Discovery Park(Uyo), Pleasure Park (Port Harcourt) amongst others.
It will be advisable for owners of Amusement parks to provide discounts during the period to attract customers.
Event Centres can expect another season of increased activities and patronage as wedding receptions, anniversary celebrations, political rallies, end-of-year parties, community meetings, parties, reunion events, family events etc.
So for those who own event centres across the country, they can expect patronage and activities.
For Celebrities and Top-rated music artistes in the country it will be a period of massive activities as A-list artistes like Davido, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, interested in making money, musicians will be very busy organising shows to help them make extra money through the ticket sales while having fun during the Christmas. It could be by an artiste or collaboration between several artistes. This is a good source of income as most people attend these shows.
Event Managers will also have a busy period, as they will be contracted by federal government agencies, major corporations, celebrities, groups and organizations for end of year parties for end of the year and special events.
Shopping malls such as Shoprite, Cash ‘N’ Carry, Mega Plaza, Grand Square, Super Saver, Just Rite, Ebeano Super Market are the right spots for getting gift items like toys, and stuffed animals for children who are the main people that receive gifts during Christmas. Other items can also be bought from the malls.
There is an influx of people into churches during the Christmas period and all the church workers always have to be readily available to get things ready. Most people always want to celebrate the birth of Christ in church and so there are carol services and special programs organised to bring in more members and this serves as a boost in contributions.
A Time for Charity
A lot of charity organisations will receive donations from well meaning Nigerians, companies and Churches this festive period. As it is a time of the year when people feel the need to give back to the society.
In the spirit of the season anyone reading and willing to contribute to the cause of helping children and the less-privileged, with items like books, clothes, shoes, equipment, foodstuffs and any other thing that can put a smile on someone’s face has an opportunity to make an impact.
You can bring your items to the office of Proshare Foundation, at 590b LekanAsunni Close, Omole Phase 2 Estate, Lagos.
For further details please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08030473827.
Finally, Christmas time is a season of joy. It is a period for families to spend time together. It is a time to regain lost laughter and renewed sense of humour. And it is a period people willingly share.
The ultimate lesson is that while life may sometimes be cruel, optimism must never wane. According to Christians, the life of Jesus Christ to whom the season is dedicated is a demonstration that no odds are too high to surmount.
Proshare wishes all our clients, content partners and patrons a joyful and peaceful Christmas.