South Africa’s Massmart is set to open hardware stores in Kenya targeting homeowners and building contractors, expanding its presence in the country.
The multinational currently operates a supermarket at Garden City Mall in Nairobi under the Game brand.
The upcoming hardware stores, under the Builders Warehouse brand, are part of Massmart’s expansion in multiple African markets.
“There will be six new Builders Warehouse stores opened in Kenya, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia over the next two years,” the company says in its latest annual report.
Massmart says the hardware stores will appeal to do-it-yourself homeowners and building contractors who will be offered an extensive range of competitively priced products.
The stores are seen as an attempt to bring the formal retail experience to the construction sector which is dominated by small shops and manufacturers selling directly to large customers.
Other contractors also import their building materials directly from overseas markets.
The local construction sector has grown rapidly over the past decade, fuelled by increased demand for residential units and office blocks.
Cement consumption, an indicator of building activity, has risen at a compound annual growth rate of 6.2 per cent in the past five years to 5.7 million tonnes in 2017.