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How much money do businesses at Thika Road Mall really make?

How much money do businesses at Thika Road Mall really make? I’ve been to Thika Road Mall a couple of times since its inception. Initially, I frequented the massive shopping complex due to a lack of options. But I came to learn that it is indeed a cool place.

Some of the brands at the mall include LC Waikiki, Carrefour, Aladdin, Burger King, Pizza Inn, Mini Sou, NCBA, Cooperative Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Safaricom, Java House, Mater Hospital, Diamond Trust Bank, Gertrude’s Hospital, Nikon, Samsung, Saaple, Classic Forex Bureau.

Thika Road Mall, popularly known as TRM, was the first major mall to be built along the superhighway. Things stayed that way for months but later on Garden City Mall and others emerged to level up the playing field.

Whenever I set foot at the Roysambu-based mall, my main agenda always revolves around sipping beverages at the coffee shops or engaging in two-person meetings. It never hurts to take a stroll around the place too once I am done doing whatever took me there. I do this in order to make observations and maybe come up with something interesting to write about.

Nairobi mall offers 6-month rent free space to attract business

One thing I’ve noticed is that most of the people who go to TRM are not actually buyers but window shoppers. They don’t go there to break the bank, Their goal is simply site-seeing. That’s right. A good portion of the daily population in this business hub consists of passersby who treat it like a museum or monument, not a shopping paradise.

What seems to be the problem then? Are the people mean? Not really. Are costs of goods and services beyond reach? Is the location of the mall an issue?. I would go for the latter. My personal opinion is that businesses located at TRM should be those that cater for middle-class people because such are the people that live close by. The problem seems to be that TRM is filled with goods and services that that only people in posh estates would afford yet it’s surrounded by estates such as Roysambu, Githurai, Kahawa West and the likes. A person living in Gigiri would definitely not come all the way to TRM to buy that 72-inch TV on display. Neither will the person in Githurai.

I once walked into a jewellery shop at the mall to check out some watches and the lady in charge was looking at people with that tough stare that speaks a thousand words. That stare that stays “I know you fellas aren’t going to buy, just hurry and get out of here, please. I know you can’t afford these expensive things”

So the big question is, if there are so many window shoppers, do the businesses make any money? Unless we check their records, it’s hard to tell. I bet some stalls make a couple of Ks but not as much as they would love to. Given the high number of window shoppers, there is minimal probability that the revenue accrued is admirable.

One of the important lessons I was taught in economics class was ‘location consideration’ when setting up a business. Take a close look at the community around where you would like to be based. If your customer base is local, does a sufficient percentage of that population match your customer profile to support your business and provide adequate demand? Does the community have a stable economic base that will provide a healthy environment for your business?

I guess this is something that was ignored by either the shops that operate at the mall or the management of the mall itself.

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Author: Alex

Alex is a Kenyan blogger writing on technology, fraud, social media and politics at Nairobi News Today.

email:: admin[at]nairobitoday.co.ke

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