An investigation by PUNCH Metro has revealed that more traders are currently turning their cars into mobile shops where they sell goods such as clothes, shoes, bread and fish among others to their customers.
The PUNCH correspondent who observed the trend for a few days in parts of Lagos and Ogun states reported that the idea is gaining traction among traders for various reasons.
While some are said to be cutting costs associated with rents for shops, some others are also using their cars to avoid a situation where they will display their wares by the roadside and be at the mercy of law enforcement agents.
The PUNCH correspondent observed that those who use their cars for the sale of items target offices, markets and major bus stops depending on what they sell.
Some of the markets in Lagos where PUNCH Metro noticed that traders using cars as shops are increasing in number include Ladipo, Computer Village and Oshodi among others.
Also in Ogun State, those using cars to display and sell bread were seen at major bus stops such as Lotto and Magboro on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway while a man selling catfish is usually seen with a pick-up van along the main road in Arepo.
“The convenience and mobility of this business model are truly appealing,” a shoe seller who is also a commercial driver simply identified as Chibuzor told The PUNCH correspondent.
Standing by his red car at the Mechanic Village in Itire with an array of shoes on display, Chibuzor added, “I have been using this car for about two years. It just made sense to showcase some of the items I sell here.
“This is a marketplace; I usually come here to sell to these motor mechanics. Sometimes, I go to the Oshodi market as well. Sometimes, in the morning, I just do my normal transport business, then show up here in the evening.”
The PUNCH correspondent also learnt that the mobile traders offer wares with competitive prizes.
A customer, Chinedu Madumere, who was seen after buying a pair of shoes said, “I came here to repair my phone and saw this guy. The shoes he has here are mind-blowing.
“I didn’t budget for this but I couldn’t resist buying these shoes. While I know I could find similar items at Balogun Market on the Island, I’m thrilled with this purchase.”
Another trader who uses his Sienna car at Ladipo market, Emeka Okafor, admitted that using his car as a mobile shop saved him the cost of paying shop rent.
He said, “I only pay for a parking space here. It is not the same as paying for shop rent. The beauty of this is that I can move around to different markets selling clothes. All I need is to find a space. That can also be a challenge as well but is far better.
“I don’t have the intention of renting a shop now. The cost of renting shops is high now. Even with the high rents, shops are not available.”