The local distributor of American footwear brand Skechers has announced a Sh500 million stores investment over the next two years in expansion drive across the country.
Phirdos Kenya says it plans to open more stores in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Eldoret.
“We are seeing many opportunities to grow our retail stores coverage in East Africa and particularly Kenya,” Fat-hi Basheikh, Phirdos Kenya Country Manager, said in a statement.
“We have been trading in the UK, US, Europe and Middle East for over a decade but with a muted presence in Kenya over the last two years. We are now ready to service this market in a big way.”
The firm on the weekend opened two new outlets; one at the Village Market and the other at Sarit Centre.
Phirdos has been distributing and operating the Skechers and Clarks footwear franchise after Nakumatt Holdings — which previously held the franchises — collapsed.
The defunct retailer had said it had invested about Sh1.2 billion to expand Clarks and Skechers before its collapse, which in turn meant the closure of the outlets.
Footwear retailer Bata Kenya has also been selling Clarks and Skechers branded footwear since 2014, sourcing from the local distributor.
Phirdos’ expansion comes as the apparel segment has seen increased activity, with pioneer brands expanding or shutting down and new entrants coming in to fill demand.
Competition in the formal fashion market is intensifying with the expansion of more brands including Mango and Hugo Boss.
Woolworths has been increasing its footprint with a total 11 stores, eight in Nairobi and three in outlying towns of Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret
South African fashion retailer Mr Price (MRP) in 2018 acquired 12 stores as part of its buyout of the franchise from its former partner Deacons East Africa.