Chinese shoes capture Kenyan market
25 May 2016, 14:22
Nakuru (Xinhua) -- At the junction of a busy road in the Rift Valley town of Nakuru, a gentleman passionately explains to a number of people standing before a number of shoes, price of each pair.
Some of the customers were selecting from the wide assortments while others were scanning over the collection, perhaps thinking through their choice.
The trader John, sells fairly affordable and durable rubber shoes imported from China.
"They are marketable that is why I sell them,"John told Xinhua on Saturday afternoon.
"Many customers return to buy more for their loved ones or friends. If you look at them, the fabric used is a little tough and the sole is heavy. It takes days before someone can get a replacement and I believe that is why people love them," explained John from his open air stall.
A bale of Chinese imported shoes cost an average of 250 U.S. dollars, he said, adding the clientele usually buy up to two bundles in a good month, particularly during holidays.
"We started receiving them (Chinese shoes) in 2010. Before then we used to have importations from South Africa and America,"said John who is in his ninth year in the shoe selling business.
His current price for a pair ranges from 8.5 dollars to 12 dollars depending on the design and size.
John who moved from the capital Nairobi to Nakuru in 2009 due to high competition said the latter offers a promising demand resulting from a growing middle class who observe fashion trends.
"They are stylish and unique. Finding a big size for the customers is however one of my biggest challenges so far. The lucky ones are those below size eight, they can easily find a pair," he noted.
Growing trade and commercial exchanges between China and Kenya has seen a rise of Chinese products in the Kenyan market.
The distribution of Chinese products in wholesale and retail market in telecommunication, beauty and textile is bringing changes to Kenyan economy.
Furthermore, telecommunication gadgets such as mobile phones and smartphones of Chinese origin are equally sold in wholesale and retail shops across the country.
Kenya is also importing heavy machinery and farming equipment from China to enhance performances in the key sectors of its economy.