Village Market unveils new mall extension


Village Market unveils new mall extension

Kenya has once again proven the preferred gateway for international brands making entry into the East African region market.

Three South African firms that are setting shop for the first time in the region are among those that will be hosted at the new extension block of the Village Market Mall launched over the weekend.

The three are Ignite Fitness, Foschini and Celio and Markhams.

Cape Town based brand Ignite Fitness is set to launch a 30,000 foot state of the art gym at the mall while Foschini and Celio and Markhams will be setting up shops for their clothing options.

A growing middle class has seen a number of international luxury brands open shop in Kenya over the last couple of years.

“The most important bit is that we are welcoming some of the retailers that have not been in Kenya for the first time,” said Village Market’s Managing Director Hamad Ehsani during the launch.

Village Market’s new extension brings with it new facilities including a 215 room business hotel, at least 100 retail shops, a 14,000 square foot indoor kids play area and parking space for 1,000 cars.

A conference centre, a food market, a hospital wing and a 10 pin bowling are also part of the establishment whose construction begun in 2014.

According to the mall owners, the move to increase the mall’s space to at least 1.2 million square feet was been prompted the increased demand from the market

“This is just a response to what the market needs, it’s an addition to the requirements of the market,” he said.

The new block is already at 95 percent occupancy with some of the outlets set to start operations by April 2018.

The Village Market’s expansion is expected to further intensify competition for retail space considering that several extra large mall establishments have been launch in the recent past.

With Two Rivers and Roslyn Rivera malls which neighbor the Village Market having been unveiled last year it will be interesting to see how business will play out.

Nairobi now has over a dozen malls scattered in various parts of the city.

Experts insist that that number is enough to meet the growing demand but getting the game plan right is key if success is to be realized among mall developers.

“If you get the components right, then people come to your centre, consumers will come and tenants will come, once they come the play is how do you get them to come day by day,” James Karoki director of real estate at private equity firm Centum Investment said in interview early this year.

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Story By Patrick Igunza
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