Malls jostle to catch the eye of consumers

Amid saturation of the retail market in Nairobi with new shopping malls, the recently opened Two Rivers mall has, nonetheless, walked away with the crown, attracting immediate footfall as its two neighbouring malls suffer —one opening to empty corridors, the other losing a consumer base it had held for decades.

It’s a shift that reflects the changing appetites of consumers, and the fact that any producer can succeed, even in a saturated and competitive market, if they provide what consumers most want.

“Consumers want to find new stores and new types of products that they cannot find anywhere else. Beyond that, they also want to go into a mall not just to shop, but also for leisure and entertainment,” said Julien Garcier, Managing Director at Sagaci Research, which provides market intelligence across Africa.

Likewise, Knight Frank reported in its 2016 global report says “Kenya’s middle class are swelling thanks to so much growth in service industries. They are now living, working and shopping ever more in line with developed world expectations. As well as a modern retail experience and international brands, there is a rising demand for food and leisure outlets, now that shopping is increasingly combined with socializing.”

Two Rivers is now delivering on that need in a more comprehensive way than other malls, with the Hi-tide Water Park, log rides and water balls, and multiple other leisure facilities, adding a ‘day out’ experience for shoppers that sits beside new brands and eateries.

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