American bathroom fittings giant Kohler has set up a regional hub in Nairobi as it seeks to reach the fast-growing wealthy East Africans who can afford exquisite home fittings.
Kohler set up in Nairobi two years ago, selling luxurious decorative, kitchen and bath products, some that are customised and hand-crafted. To serve the rising demand from five-star hotels, offices as well as affluent individuals, commercial director Ronelle Badenhorst said they plan to employ four employees in Nairobi.
“Kitchens and bathrooms happen to be personal spaces that require one to choose fittings they adore all the time. We will continue working via our local distributor, Kitchens & Beyond,” she said.
Increased hotel investments as multi-billion shillings chains open doors in Kenya has boosted the sale of exquisite kitchens and bathrooms, said Rohit Mehta, Kohler East Africa and Indian Ocean Islands sales manager.
“We have serviced 22 grand orders for the government, corporate and personal orders in Kenya with our orders for 66 clients across East Africa serviced in 2018. We expect more and our office opening in Nairobi will see us fast-track deliveries and supervise project implementations by our local teams,” he said.
A Kohler ceramic handwash basin with a brass faucet and a bidet faucet (an alternative to toilet tissue) range from Sh100,000.
A smart toilet goes for Sh800,000 while the basic configuration for Kohler’s digital shower system (DTV+) costs at least Sh1.2 million.
Ms Badenhorst said their investment was informed by a rising interest in modern home furnishings.
Of late, more Kenyans are splurging on home interiors. To meet this desire from homeowners who spare no cost when buying furniture, vintage cutlery, doors, home and garden music systems, a number of international companies are setting shop in Kenya.