Until recently, general shops used to be the only hopes for Kenyans who wanted to shop, that time is now gone.
It all started with supermarkets, where you could get anything you want at your house. Kenyans were excited about them; little did they know something better exists.
I first heard of a shopping mall in 2009, when Nakumatt Junction was built. I was excited to see the mall full of anything, including people. That’s the moment I went to the internet to check the meaning of shopping mall.
It excites me to realize the strides Kenya has made in terms of development, am also saddened by the number of Kenyans who lost business to shopping malls.
In those days, a single estate in Nairobi could have at least 10 well-stocked shops, where each shop had its customers.
But as I move around several estates, I rarely see a general shop; if there’s any then it sells either on credit or milk. I always wonder where those who owned the shops disappeared to.
In Nairobi, almost every resident does shopping at the end of the month, whether poor or rich. Since shopping malls have everything under one roof, no one wants to leave them for a small shop. There is also one thing I have discovered about Nairobians; they have some ‘pride’. Someone wants to be seen from a shopping mall and not a village shop in order to feel important.
You meet someone carrying a match stick from a shopping mall, and if you try to ask him why he could not obtain the same from a local shop, the answer might not be good for your ears.
General shops have now become almost extinct in posh estates. However, small estates like Kibera, Embakasi and kitengela have some.
In Nairobi, opening a general shop disappoints. If you had a plan to open one, please consider towns like Bomet, Bungoma,Migori and Molo.But remember that if a shopping mall is built in that area then you are in trouble.
If you love shopping,malls are the best place to go for shopping because they are very cheap and provide after sales services like transport.Impulse buying is the best because you go for shopping at most twice a month thus avoiding spending more than you had budgeted for.