7 kinds of markets in Nigeria


The Nigerian market is characterized by several attributes. Market (n) is also known as a marketplace, souk, bazaar, shop, arcade, fair, flea market. By definition, it is a gathering in a public for buying and selling merchandise. It is a place where demand meets supply. In Nigeria, the market isn’t just a place, it is anywhere; this is because there are several mobile (foot or vehicle) markets in Nigeria.place, souk, bazaar, shop, arcade, fair, flea market. By definition, it is a gathering in a public for buying and selling merchandize. It is a place where demand meets supply. In Nigeria, market isn’t just a place, it is anywhere; this is because there are several mobile (foot or vehicle) markets in Nigeria.

In most cases, a market involves stalls or shops where goods are store and displayed for sales. For instance, one of such kind of marketplace is a grocery store, cold room, plastic store, etc. Welcome to Nigeria, here, you do not need a store or stall to “own” or use a spot in the market area. You do not have to go to the market square (marketplace) to get your needs met.

There are several kinds of markets in Nigeria. This has made it quite easy for the residence of the country to be quick with meeting needs. As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. Nigerians are always proactive when it comes to starting up businesses, but most often these businesses do not last more than a season.

You must have heard of the online marketplace. Smile. You can get that too in Nigeria. Online shopping store as Jumia, Konga, Opay Mall, JiJi, etc. have changed the market narrative in Nigeria. But before this change, there were and still exist the following market style to be disclosed below:

  1. General market square
  2. Community market 
  3. Neighborhood market 
  4. Street hawking 
  5. Specific market 
  6. Shopping malls 
  7. Online market

The general market square is usually a large market. It can be big as having to walk hours before you can cover the entire market. Some could take lesser than an hour though. What makes it a general market square is the fact that you can and will find all your market needs in such a place. Items on sales in this kind of place are not limited to food items, clothing, household cleaners, meat, and fish, among other edibles and nonedibles. 

The general market is usually very noisy and highly busy. Due to a large number of visitors, the market is highly crowded during festive periods, but less crowded visit during the week. The market is open on daily basis and numerous sellers are selling the same goods. Thus, you are free to choose which seller’s price suits your budget. Prices of items in the general market vary like in another market in Nigeria.

In some general markets, there are more stores than roadside sellers (especially in the ultramodern markets built in recent years). The old general markets are populated by roadside sellers and hawkers. Native languages are largely spoken in the market. Many people believe speaking fluently in English to a seller will lead to an increase in selling price. It is also advisable to make a list of the items you will need at the market, else you will always end up spending more than you budgeted.

Some people work as helpers in the market. They help in carrying shopped items either on their head or a wheelbarrow. They charge between fifty naira to two hundred depending on the distance and load carried.

If you are not a lover of stressful shopping exercise, this is not a place for you. You might have to trek several times over and over again just to get a reasonable price for an item. Secondly, there are no visible security operatives in this kind of market. Perhaps you can find security operatives in a few.

However, shopping in the general market is always adventurous. No throat-cutting prices; you stand a chance to price any item to the most affordable price and many other advantages.

The community market is relatively close to the general market. The difference can be noticed in the size of the market and the items stocked or sold here. The community market is meant to serve members of a particular community and not the entire state or town. Sellers in this market limit their items for sale to the immediate need of the community. 

The items sold in this market are not different from what is obtainable at the general market. Items as clothing, food items, household cleaners, fruits and vegetables, drinks, and liquor, among other edibles and nonedibles are available here. However, you might not have varieties to choose from unlike you would have at the general market.

Shopping here is quite easy. It is a community, everyone seems to be familiar with one another and there is no cause for unrealistic price hiking since sellers are aware of the financial strength of those within the community. Sellers in community markets are often farmers trying to sell their products or retailers who buy from the general market.

The community market is easy to penetrate and often secured; as stated earlier it is a market within a community and almost everyone is not a stranger.

Most community markets have days of operation. In most community markets, market days are twice a week while some operate three times a week. There is barely a store in community markets, traders display their goods on tables, stole or on the floor. Traders in community markets hardly retain their spot for too long.

The neighborhood market is one of the smallest markets in Nigeria. This is where people rush to, for emergency supplies. For instance, you woke up one morning to prepare for work and found out that your toothpaste tube is empty. All you need to do is walk down your street, and get a new one. 

The neighborhood market deals with petite items. They are mini marts and kiosk located next door. They often offer more than sales items; you can find service providers amongst them. Service in this category includes; laundry and dry cleaning, subscription, and recharging, plumbing, carpentry, etc.

Buying goods and services in the neighborhood can be expensive, way more than the price obtainable in any of the above-listed markets. The best way to avoid buying from this market is by stocking up your house before a need arrives.

7 kinds of markets in Nigeria

Do you want to know more about markets in Nigeria? Stay tuned for the next four kinds of markets yet to be explained.

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