Naivas Supermarket will open its 30th store in Syokimau adjacent to the train station as the retail chain targets the growing number of middle-class Kenyans building homes in the south east of Nairobi.
The supermarket is the anchor tenant at a new mall under construction on Mombasa Road on a parcel that previously housed the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) resort.
The concentration of well-heeled shoppers in the malls that have emerged in Nairobi recently is acting as an attraction for leading supermarkets, kicking an expansion blitz that has upped competition for control of shoppers.
Besides Naivas, retail chains Tuskys, Nakumatt and Uchumi are opening new stores while foreign firms like South Africa’s Massmart will open shop in Kenya next year.
“We are not only targeting those who use the train service but also the middleclass residing in the area and customers of a Dubai-based five-star hotel which is coming up adjacent to the mall,” said Willy Kimani, the Naivas marketing director.
“We had planned to open the store this month but we have pushed this date to January.”
The Syokimau railway station was opened one year ago and is estimated to be ferrying around 5,000 commuters to and from the city centre daily.
The supermarket will serve those residing in Mlolongo and Syokimau — areas that are gripped by a rise in population as the city working class build homes and high-net worth investors construct apartments for leasing and sale.