Turkish clothing retailer LC Waikiki is set to open its fourth store in Kenya at Thika Road Mall (TRM) as it moves to cash in on the area’s middle-class shoppers.
The store will take up space previously occupied by Deacons East Africa’s 4U2 outlet which was closed as the Kenyan firm shifted focus to its profit-making brands.
The international clothes chain set up its first store in Kenya at Two Rivers Mall last year in February followed by a second one at Karen’s The Hub.
LC Waikiki then opened a third store at Mombasa’s City Mall in the affluent Nyali suburb in June this year.The Turkish retail giant is on a rapid expansion binge that will include opening more stores, such as the one at TRM, in Nairobi before the end of the year.
The firm is one of the fastest-growing fashion retailers in Europe with a turnover of $3 billion (about Sh303 billion).
They plan to set up three stores before the year ends signals more jobs for locals, which the Turkish firm says currently stands at 150 Kenyans on its payroll.
“Soon we are venturing into South Africa...Kenya was our entrance to the sub- Saharan market. I can say that one year later, we are not regretting since this is the best business decision,” said country manager Kremena Pencheva in June during the launch of the Mombasa branch.
“We want to at least have employed 300 Kenyans by the end of the year after we open the other three branches. We strive to sell high quality Turkish clothing ranging from shoes, clothes for men, women and kids in all our stores,” she said at the time.
The firm’s entry into TRM comes almost a year after South African luxury fashion brand Woolworths exited the mall, citing low sales, noting that the shopping complex did not serve its target market.
LC Waikiki, which currently operates over 850 stores in 38 countries, says it settled on Kenya as its entry point to the region due to its stable economy, low market saturation and a fast-growing retail-oriented middle class.
The retail chain was established in France in 1985 before becoming a Turkish brand in 1997. On average, LC Waikiki has managed to open 150 stores each year. During the unveiling of the brand, LC Waikiki said it was targeting 1,500 stores in Africa by the end of 2023.