South Africa’s clothing retailer Foschini Group has set its eyes on opening of three more outlets after marking its entry into the country with a branch at Nairobi’s Junction Mall.
Foschini Group, which has 22 different retail brands under its label, has opened Sterns — a contemporary and classic Jewellery shop that targets individuals in the lower-middle, middle and upper income class — at the Junction Mall.
The firm plans to open three additional stores — Foschini women’s wear shop, Markham targeting men and a second Sterns store — at the Village Market before the end of the year, with further plans to open 10 more next year.
“Sterns store is our first entry into Kenya and the East African market. We’re bringing something fresh into a market that has for a long time been dominated by closed family businesses. We aim to cater to individuals in all categories,” said the Foschini Group Kenya area manager Isabelle Achila in an interview.
The Fix and Exact fashion lines, Totalsports and Sportscene sports and street wear brands, AmericanSwiss — a jewellery line and @Home, a homeware and interior décor store, are other retail brands the group is looking to introduce in Kenya. Foschini’s entry is expected to create more than 100 jobs for locals.
“We believe that Kenya is a strong emerging market with opportunities for growth. Our mission it to be the biggest retailer in Africa and we plan to introduce other brands that are doing well outside South Africa,” said Ms Achila.
The group’s debut in the local market was scheduled to happen in 2015 but the delay in completion of the Two Rivers Mall where Foschini Group has booked 10 stores and the construction of the Village Market extension saw them push back entry dates. The firm had also embarked on an expansion drive in West Africa delaying its entry into the Kenyan market.
“The reason why we have not rolled out as aggressively as we had anticipated and would want to is because the various places where we had booked space are yet to open and this has delayed our entry plans. We are specific when it comes to location and we were able to open our current branch at the Junction Mall because an opportunity we liked presented itself,” she said.
Foschini Group deals in clothing, jewellery, accessories, sporting and outdoor equipment as well as homeware that target the middle and upper middle income markets.
The group has a network of more than 2,100 stores in African countries that include Botswana, Nigeria, Ghana, Lesotho, Swaziland and South Africa. It also has an international presence with stores in Hong Kong, Mexico, Netherlands, Qatar and Switzerland, among others.
South African brands are looking for markets outside the country to beat competition and grow sales from Africa’s growing middle class with disposable income.
Edgars, another South African fashion chain retailer is also eyeing the local market, which is now billed as the second biggest retail market after South Africa.
It is estimated that by 2020 Africa’s spending power will be Sh140 trillion ($1.4 trillion) up from Sh86 billion ($860 million) in 2008.
Global players are now turning to emerging markets such as Africa for growth, attracted by rising disposable household incomes, fast economic growth and a young population, according a study by McKinsey & Co.