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Kenya's Luxury Market an Untapped Resource

Kenya's Luxury Market an Untapped Resource

Tom Unwin

With the growth of the middle class and population of high net worth individuals in the country, opportunities for the luxury market are set to be on the rise. New World Wealth Report 2014 statistics reports that the market generated Sh17.2 billion in 2013 derived from the sale of high end clothing, accessories, cars as well as hotels.
Luxury Consultant Maryanne Maina says the market is an untapped goldmine pointing out that the market is set to grow significantly in the coming years.

"There are a lot of opportunities in the luxury market, more Kenyans are becoming brand oriented, more international companies are setting base in the country, the economic power for the middle class is growing," Maina told Capital Business.

She explained among the opportunities in the market include personal shopping services, luxury stores in hotels and airports as well as consulting services.

"We need luxury stores in hotels, malls and our airports to cater for the tourists who are keen on luxury, as well as businessmen who visit the country for business, I haven't seen a proper luxury store in the hotels and the airport yet," Maina says.

She says Kenyan manufactures, and craftsmen only tend to produce products that suit the average person, forgetting the high end market.

"Luxury is about an art, it's about quality and it's an experience people are willing to spend on. What I see with most Kenyan entrepreneurs is that they tend to copy each other, producers need to be creative and think outside the box, create a brand for the high end market the results are enormous," she explained.

Kenyan brands are yet to hit the luxury international market, with the country only known for the Maasai brand that is used by over 80 international companies.

The country's breath taking sceneries, a magnificent range of captivating wild animals, an array of culture, has seen Luxury hotels keen in the Kenyan market with a number of hotels in the last five years that include Villa Rosa Kempinski, Mahali Mazuri Luxury camp, Hemingways, Olare Mara among others. The country's real estate is also keen on the luxury market, with developments like Mandharini development located in the coast, Thika Green Golf Course Estate, and Tatu City among others.

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