The economic climate in Ibadan is set to experience a new episode as FoodCo a leading retail and shopping outfit in Ibadan opens a new outlet in Ring Road, perhaps the biggest and grandest of them all in the city.
From a humble beginning in a stall to a building at Bodija, FoodCo has grown into a chain store that changed the face of shopping in Ibadan. In total, FoodCo now has Eight outlets spread across the city of Ibadan; Bodija, Idi Ape, Dugbe, Jericho, Apata, Monatan, Akobo and now Ring Road. I will wager that more outlets are still coming.
The famous business anecdotal phrase of “Start Small, Grow Big” can be said to apply to the emergence and growth of the FoodCo brand of business in Ibadan. For many entrepreneurs, this is often as a grand maxim that they love to quote and abide by.
Founded in 1982 by Mrs Iyabo Sun-Bashorun FoodCo has specialized in retail of consumer goods and fresh food items that has served the residents of Ibadan well in providing quality and affordable services. As recently stated by the Executive Director of the company Engineer Ade Sun-Bashorun, “The longevity of our business is in our excellent service delivery which has allowed us to serve generations of our consumers’ families. Some of our consumers grew up shopping here with their parents and today, their own children are also here socializing while shopping along the supermarket aisle or eating at the restaurant section.”
To say that over the years, FoodCo has enjoyed a remarkable monopoly at the echelon of serving the people of Ibadan in quality shopping experience would not be an overstatement. This is not in any way bid to discountenance the other existing and popular brands that are also in the business affording people the quality shopping experience in the city. However, this monopoly was broken with the arrival of Shoprite in the city.
The arrival of Shoprite in the city of Ibadan in a remarkable way boosted the consumer goods marketing and retailing enterprise in city. Shoprite brought a new feel to the shopping experience. Perhaps it has to do with the allure of the ‘lower prices you can trust’ tag or the ambience and environment with which people can take pictures and relax that it affords. Every person; young and old, male and female sees Shoprite as the ideal and often convenient place to go to. Some persons who visit Shoprite do so simply to take pictures as it provides that oversea or European feel to it.
However, FoodCo seem to have risen to the challenge posed by Shoprite and reclaim its pride of place by not only by opening up new outlets but rebranding its service to compare with and better that which Shoprite affords.
The newest outlet being opened can infact be seen as direct challenge to the rather monopolistic hold Shoprite has on peoples shopping experience in and around the bustling Ring Road, challenge and adjoining areas of the city. It would not be an understatement to say it is their most daring enterprise yet Big and Bold. The refurbished and imposing building directly in front of Chicken Republic along Ring Road would definitely offer Ibadan residents a new feel of exquisite shopping experience
More spectacularly, in this new outlet, costumers aren’t just going to walk in to purchase their goods as usual, they would also have a chance to relax and recreate at their recreational and entertainment centre.
While this achievement should be celebrated, it is important not to lose sight of the journey it has taken to get to this grand stage of providing great shopping experience for people. The journey started 36 years ago as a stall. Started small but with will and diligence and hard work by the owner and brains behind the brand, like a mustard seed, watered and cultured, FoodCo has grown into a giant Business Iroko tree in Ibadan land. This is an inspiring lesson for young entrepreneurs and business minded individuals in city, state and the country at large.
The FoodCo brand is uniquely Ibadan. It can be said to be an Ibadan-owned franchise. Say Ibadan, say FoodCo. As far as Ibadan is concerned, say shopping, say FoodCo?
Report by Victor Alagogooko For IbadanCity ANNOUNCER