Toshiba eyes EA market with Sh500m Nairobi warehouse

Toshiba laptop
A model displays a Toshiba laptop during the product’s launch in Nairobi in 2010. The electronics maker is hoping the warehouse will drive its sales in the region. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Electronics manufacturer Toshiba has invested Sh500 million to open its first regional warehouse in Nairobi’s Karen, becoming the latest electronics giant to set up a base in Kenya this year.

The Tokyo-based brand hopes that bringing its stock closer to its East African customers will significantly lower cost of its products.

The manufacturer operates a South Africa-based branch, which has been servicing its customers across the continent.

“With the 30 square feet warehouse in Karen, orders will be serviced faster and customers will notice a drop in price of our products and spare parts,” said Michael Kirore, Toshiba’s national development manager.

Its range of products include air conditioners, printers, television sets, laptops, washing machines, refrigerators and MRI scanners.

The Karen-based warehouse is expected to significantly cut the turnaround time for delivering orders to customers across the region.

Prior to its opening, the practice has been that orders are delivered to South Africa from Japan, for onward transportation to the customers within Africa.

“Getting orders serviced would take a minimum of two weeks but this is bound to change for the better now,” said Mr Kirore.

In a move to reclaim its market share in Kenya, Toshiba will operate vans that will serve as its mobile showrooms.

German engineering and electronics firm Bosch established its first dedicated showroom in Westlands in August this year.

Later the same month, LG Electronics also opened its first showroom in the country situated along Riverside Drive in Westlands.

The unveiling of the Toshiba Kenya warehouse comes just four months after Japan’s Sharp Corp said it will acquire Toshiba Corp’s personal computer business for $36 million (about Sh3.6 billion).