Africa’s first luxury e-commerce boutique goes full circle
When businessman Alexander Amosu appeared on the Nigerian version of Dragon’s Den television show 10 years ago, he could not have predicted that it would lead to the creation of Lux Afrique Group, a highly successful concierge, lifestyle and networking service for over 500 high-net-worth (HNW) individuals across Africa.
“Dragon’s Den positively built and grew my reputation in Nigeria, and when I got back to the United Kingdom, I was contacted by HNW Africans asking me for assistance in arranging aspects of their business, or leisure, activities when coming to the UK.” Amosu says that for three years, he put people who came “knocking on his door” in touch with the relevant, well-respected contacts who could fulfil the unique requests from affluent individuals from Africa. This led him to recognising that there was a definite gap in the market for a concierge company to assist these HNW Africans with their needs – from shopping, travelling and securing second citizen passports, to sourcing limited items and attending exclusive events.
Lux Afrique Group was consequently born 41Ž2 years ago, and Amosu, the founder, now employs a dynamic team who helps make the impossible possible for clients of African heritage, earning a minimum of one million US Dollars per annum. “The idea behind Lux Afrique is to make our clients’ lives easier by helping them to gain access to products and services they would not be able to get on their own,” explains Amosu.
According to a global report by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), despite an obvious need for HNW individuals, digitized services are not widely available. This is anticipated to rapidly change, with the market particularly in Africa, poised for an e-commerce wave. Another recent report PwC found that 98% of HNW individuals access the internet daily, with affluent consumers spending up to three hours of their personal time online every day. This is significant, especially if you consider that by the year 2021, worldwide retail ecommerce sales will reach $4.9 trillion (Shopify Plus, 2019).
As a successful entrepreneur and businessman, Amosu feels strongly about corporate social responsibility and giving back to Africa, the home of HNW Africans. A percentage of the revenue generated through Lux Afriqueevents and other platforms, for example the recently launched online Lux Afrique Boutique, is invested in community-based charities within the African continent.”
“All the money we raise goes to different charities to help them accomplish their goals, whether it is building a school, a factory or providing communities with access to running water. This year during the Covid-19 crisis we supplied a large amount of PPE materials, test kits, masks, gloves and more to a charity in Nigeria to distribute to frontline workers like police, nurses and doctors.”
The Lagos Food Bank in Nigeria, Nelson Mandela Foundation in South Africa and Malaika in Congo, are also among the charities Lux Afrique has extended help to.
Another way that Lux Afriquegives back, is by making sure that designers from Africa are given the opportunity and means to showcase their creations in the brand-new Lux Afrique Boutique. Elegant and luxurious inventions from across the continent will be featured on this online shopping platform, alongside traditional western luxury brands. “It seems that many African designers, especially those trying to get into the luxury space, are already at a disadvantage because most people seem to associate Africa with a level of poverty.
Lux Afrique is determined to position African designers and African style at the same level as well-known, well-established international luxury brands. These brands have built a solid, opulent reputation over many years, but the new guys coming in need to present themselves at an equal level. Because I am an African designer myself, I feel very strongly about supporting other African designers who create beautiful luxury pieces and providing them with a platform to shine and expose their talent.”
Amosu emphasizes that if an African designer’s work speaks for itself and is of the highest quality, then it is our responsibility to showcase African brilliance and offer it to our clients.