Foreign retailers are scrambling to get into the Kenyan market as citizens’ love for shopping and construction of malls surge to new level.
The supermarkets are seeking to have a pie of the growing market that is currently dominated by three main players namely Nakumatt, Tuskys and Naivas.
Set to enter the Kenyan market this week is Game, a subsidiary of South African leading retailer Massmart.
Game is opening its branch Thursday in the capital Nairobi at Garden City Mall, a new shopping complex constructed along Thika superhighway, Kenya’s best thoroughfare built by the Chinese contractors.
The entrance of the South African supermarket into the Kenyan market has already caused excitement among Kenyans, signalling tough competition among the retail outlets ahead.
“I cannot miss the massive discount that the supermarket is offering. I plan to take time off to go and check out what they will be offering. I want to be among the first shoppers of the facility,” said Calvin Odera, a legal assistant in Nairobi.
His thinking captures that of many Kenyans who would flood in as it usually happens when supermarkets offer massive discounts on items.
A TV stand that normally goes for 206 U.S. dollars will for instance be sold at 144 dollars at the opening of the supermarket.
“You do not get such prices every day, which is why one has to take advantage of them. I also need a medium-sized fridge which is what I will be going there to look for,” he said.
The love for shopping has been fanned by a growing middle-class whose spending power has increased. Kenya’s economy is classified as middle-income, with economic output growing to 53.1 billion dollars last year, according to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.
There are dozens of malls across Nairobi, with new ones still under construction, and all of them are always full, particularly during weekends.
Other foreign retail outlets seeking to enter into the Kenyan market are Botswana’s Choppies supermarket and France’s Carrefour.
Choppies is set to start its business in Kenya before the end of the year by buying a stake in one of the country’s supermarkets, while Carrefour, the world’s largest retailer, announced plans to set up shop in Kenya though it has not specified the time.
Apart from the growing love for shopping, which is luring the foreign retailers, analysts note that the Kenyan retail market, which is dominated by family owned supermarkets, is yet to be exploited. Enditem