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Luxury brand stores expected to come knocking for a share

Thursday February 20 2014

The Woolworths Sarit Centre branch in Nairobi. The South African group that deals in luxury food and general clothing, has seven stores in Kenya, but none offers food. PHOTO | FILE

The Woolworths Sarit Centre branch in Nairobi. The South African group that deals in luxury food and general clothing, has seven stores in Kenya. PHOTO | FILE NATION MEDIA GROUP

MWANIKI WAHOME
By MWANIKI WAHOME
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Several luxury brands stores are expected to set up shop locally to take advantage of the growing number of super-rich Kenyans.

According to a report released by Research and Market, a London-based firm, Kenya’s super rich list is expected to grow to over 10,000 in the next five years, triggering more consumption of luxury items.

The 2014 Kenya Wealth report shows that the luxury market has grown by 60 per cent since 2007, generating Sh17 billion in 2013.

It mentions that the three collectables by the super-rich — classic cars, art, fine wine market — are undeveloped but expected to grow in the next three to five years.

Luxury car dealership firm Porsche is expected to set up shop in Kenya before 2015, underscoring a fast growing segment of the economy.

The luxury sector recorded 60 per cent growth last year to register $200 million, according to a New World Wealth report released on Wednesday.

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LUXURY SECTOR UNDER-DEVELOPED

Overall, the report says the luxury sector remains under-developed compared to other countries like South Africa and Nigeria, with many of the facilities that cater for high net worth individuals lacking, but adds that this is bound to change in coming years.

Kenya is set to see more of the facilities targeting the super-rich being set up, with those in countries like South Africa and Nigeria opening branches here.

The luxury sector includes vehicles, food stores, hotels, lodges, clothing and accessories and according to the report, most of these are lacking in Kenya. For example there is no luxury car dealership in the country while the luxury food stores are under developed.

South African group, Woolworths, that deals in luxury food and general clothing, has seven stores in Kenya, but none offers food.

According to the report several car brands operating in South Africa are unlikely to enter the Kenya market until after 2020 and include Ferrari, Maserati, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, McLaren and Lamborghini.

There are no luxury brands stores in Kenya but according to the report many, mostly in South Africa, could set up in Kenya in the next 10 years.

Most of them deal in luxury men’s clothing labels such as Aigner, Alfred Dunhill, Canali, Hugo Boss, Paul&Shark and Paul Smith.