Retailers brace for a Christmas bonanza
15 December 2014, 10:39
Nairobi - The festive mood enveloped the ground and upper floors of Nakumatt Lifestyle, on Saturday afternoon as neon lights flickered and soothing Christmas carols played in the background.
Shoppers cut a relaxed pose as they sampled neatly arranged Christmas gifts in the supermarket located at the heart of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
When Xinhua visited Nakumatt Lifestyle, attendants and security guards had a hectic time as they controlled throngs of shoppers determined to award their loved ones early Christmas presents.
George Muchina, a father of two, was among shoppers who strolled through the supermarket alleys to survey for exotic goods on offer.
"The season of goodwill has drawn nearer and my two daughters have pestered me to buy them new clothes and shoes. I have no option but to meet their demands," Muchina told Xinhua.
The proprietor of a mid-sized events and public relations company dreads the festive season due to the financial burden it places on him. Muchina had, nevertheless, saved enough to spoil his young offspring and their mother with unique gifts.
"We are entering a season when merry and benevolence reigns supreme, and therefore financial considerations should not prevent us from treating our relatives and friends," said Muchina.
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He was blissful as he carted away stylish dresses and two boxes of chocolate meant for his two daughters and their mother.
Nakumatt Lifestyle and other shopping malls within Nairobi's central business district were a beehive of activity on Saturday. Shoppers from all walks of life were enticed by the glamorous atmosphere inside the shopping malls.
A senior manager at Nakumatt Lifestyle who preferred anonymity told Xinhua business had picked in the middle of this week when early Christmas shoppers flocked the premises.
"We have witnessed a surge in demand for items like clothes, exotic wine, chocolate and flowers. The predominantly young shoppers are not afraid of spending their last coin," said the manager.
The aroma of freshly baked cakes at Nakumatt Lifestyle was irresistible to Eunice Moraa, a university student on vacation. Moraa and her young friends had spent the better part of Saturday window-shopping in the malls and market stalls.
"From the look of things, this year's festive season might be full of fun and some of us are prepared to join the party. I have compiled a list of items to purchase as Christmas beckons," Moraa told Xinhua.
Kenyans defied inflationary pressures and security jitters to flock shopping malls that were stocked to the brim in readiness for the holiday season.
At the Ebrahim Supermarket in downtown Nairobi, polite attendants assisted shoppers cart away a range of items. The Santa Claus outside Ebrahim Supermarket created frenzy in the shopping mall that is a favorite for Kenyans in the middle-income category.
Shoppers were attracted by stylish clothes, shoes and ornaments at Ebrahim Supermarke, with most female shoppers spending ample time surveying new items on offer at the supermarket.
A female attendant who spoke to Xinhua revealed that clothes, shoes and baby toys were in high demand since the beginning of December.
The festive season always brings a windfall to Kenyan retailers as the demand for luxury items skyrocket. A spot check at the main shopping malls and clothing lines revealed brisk business.
Despite its location at a crowded downtown street, Jades Collection was the destination of choice for shoppers across the age and gender divide. The clothing line was stocked with imported but pocket-friendly wears.
Male shoppers like Amos Maundu were prepared to empty their wallets and carry home their favorite faded jeans and tops. The 30- year-old factory worker had visited Jades Collection to buy new clothes for himself and his fiance.
"I have always trooped this place to purchase clothes and household items. The prices are fair and have remained so during this festive season," said Maundu.
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