The growth of Nigerian spend in British shops is set to outpace that of the US in 2013, and rise at the same speed as that of Russian and Middle Eastern shoppers.
Nigerians visiting the UK between July and September outspent Americans, with an average monthly spend per person of £498 - up 18% on the previous annual average - while the US spend fell to £495, down 2% on the yearly figure.
Nigerian consumers are expected to continue flocking to UK high streets, with tax-free shopping operator Global Blue predicting a further rise of in-store spend of 8% through 2013, in line with that from the Middle East and Russia. US average spend is forecast to rise 5%.
Nigeria now makes up 5% of total international spend in UK shops - the third largest overall. The Middle East accounts for the lion’s share of the total - 29% - with China accounting for 23%.
Chinese shoppers are expected to lead the growth next year, with average spending predicted to increase by between 30% and 40%.
Global Blue UK vice-president Richard Brown said: “We’ve been seeing it slowly creep up but the Nigerians are now as important for spending as the Russians and the US.” Brown explained this was due to the regularity of Nigerian visitors, with a third of Nigerian tourists coming to the UK to visit friends and family, and a third coming for business. American visitors tend to spend less because they are visiting for tourism.