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Nairobi News : December 9th 2013
22 stock changes +8.0% Express Commerc. +4.0% Eaagads Agric. +0.30% Olympia Invest. Shoe sellers take over stalls on CBD streets O JOHN NJIRU, NairobiNews @njiru_john firstname.lastname@example.org n Ronald Ngala Street as you head towards the OTC stage is a chaotic display of buses fighting to pick passengers headed to Githurai. Amidst honking and a sea of humanity are countless stalls displaying thousands of shoes. Stall owners compete for attention with their noisy neighbours. “Window-shopping n i br ue (is free). Come and sample the shoe for you!,” loud voices ring out. Many stalls in the city have been converted into shoe parlours. “The shoe defines one’s character. Everybody who wants to look good has to invest in shoes and that is why we have many customers,” said Peter Njau, a seller. -8.0% Carbacid industrial -6.6% Pan Africa insurance -3.2% EABL industrial FRUIT SELLERS MAKE A KILLING City Centre. Fruit vending has become a well-paying business. The vendors are carrying out their trade in almost every corner of the city, a clear indication that there is good money to be made. It does not take much to open shop. With Sh10,000, one can start by paying up rent, getting a licence and buying stock to last a month. “We buy the fruits in bulk instead of per piece. This way, we are able to realise huge profits at the end of the day,” said Carol Kipchumba, a vendor in Ngong. The vendors go as far as Wakulima, Ngara and Gikomba markets to get the fruits. For instance, a sack of unripe avocados goes for Sh2,500. “Instead of buying ripe ba- nanas, we’d rather go for the raw ones since they come cheap and there is no chance of them getting spoilt,” said Ms Kipchumba. Demand for fruit in the market keeps growing and this is good for business. However, satisfying the needs of customers is a challenge when the fruits are out of season. “Demand for fruits is growing but from time to time, we are faced with shortage. That results in prices shooting up and limited stock, something that hurts our business and customers,” she said. In most cases, owners of the fruit shops employ one or two attendants to serve customers. A well-stocked fruit shop can make up to Sh5,000 a day. Annie Njanja, NN A seller arranges shoes in a stall in the city centre. The average price of a pair of men’s shoes is Sh1,600. Jennifer Muiruri, NairobiNews Njau: The shoe defines one’s character. Everybody who wants to look good has to invest in shoes and that is why we have many customers” NAIROBI NEWS nairobinews.co.ke Monday, Dec 9 - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013 MONEY MAKER money PUTTING MORE IN YOUR POCKET Why go online? • Kenyans are increasingly taking to online shopping due to convenience • Stuff is delivered to the doorsteps • Top online platforms include Nation Media Group’s N-Soko, Pigiame, OLX and Dealfish • Electronics, shoes furniture and home accessories the most sortafter merchandise • 16.4 million Kenyans are accessing the web through mobile phones, making online shopping viable A Nairobian using her laptop to surf the net. A big chunk of Kenya’s 16.4 million users of the net is in Nairobi. File, NairobiNews The city of online shops Internet shopping. Instead of walking to stores to buy various items, Nairobians now take to e-commerce and have goods delivered to their doorsteps ANNIE NJANJA, NairobiNews @njanjaannie email@example.com T Sophia Muthoni buying fruits at the City Market. Billy Mutai, NairobiNews he brisk lifestyle, convenience and easy availability of quality products have pushed the Nai- robian to shop online. The increasingly techno-savvy young population weaving through the streets is spurring the growth of internet shopping sites, stocking a variety of goods including clothing, utensils, jewellery, cosmetics, electronics, furniture and cellphones. Anthony Onyango, a university student, says he does not remember the last time he went to a shop to buy clothes. “I usually make online orders and my clothes are delivered on my doorstep,” he says. He is not alone. Many online stores make hundreds of deliveries each day to working clientele in the city and its surrounding. Middle class The latest global online shopping site, Jumia, has already become a hit in the retail market. “There is a lot of potential here for electronic commerce. We believe it will follow development of the mobile telephony and take up a large part of the retail market on the continent,” says Jumia’s global venture development manager Oscar Boré. He says the firm is leveraging on its high quality imported products as well Bore: There is a lot of potential here for electronic commerce. We believe it will follow development of the mobile telephony and take up a large part of the retail market” as enhancing the customer experience through delivering goods and multiple payment options such as M-Pesa and online banking. It sells electronics, shoes, apparel, furniture and home accessories which are delivered at the doorstep of the buyer, with the option of cash on delivery. Others are N-Soko, Pigiame, OLX and DealFish which have heavy online presence in the market. • Safaricom has unveiled an online payment platform making e-commerce a widespread reality • Some online shopping platforms have folded up in the past Strangely enough, many foreign e- business firms have failed to crack the Kenyan online marketplace. They include Kalahari, an e-com- merce portal, which exited the Kenyan market in 2011 after failing to turn a profit after close to two years of operation. Mocality, an online marketing firm, collapsed in February this year after failing to break even. Smart phones Kenya’s expanding middle class, high Internet penetration, widespread use of mobile phone cash transfer services, increased usage of smartphones and a vibrant merchandising market are pointers to its readiness for an e-commerce take-off. The number of Kenyans accessing the Internet has grown five-fold to 16.4 million users as at March this year according to data from the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK). Nairobians make up a huge chunk of this number. Many also use their home and office PCs and laptops. But why are so many jostling for space in a single stall? “Price matters here. We know what the con- sumer wants and at what price. Shoes in the other shops are very expensive,” said Mr Njau. A pair of shoes on the Ronald Ngala Street on average goes for Sh1,600 although a client can bargain. Cheaper shoes are shipped from Dubai. Stalls on Tom Mboya Street have been taken over by shoe traders. In fact, three buildings have floors completely occupied by the trade.
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