No matter your fitness goals, you know that the right sportswear and equipment can be the motivation you need to get on a treadmill. On the flip side, poor sports gear can have you avoiding the activity.
Despite athletics being almost synonymous with Kenyan sports and a growing number of fitness fanatics, there is not so much on offer in terms of gym-wear and accessories.
SportsPlanet, a new store that opened in Nairobi’s Westgate Mall on Tuesday, is seeking to bridge this gap by offering Kenyans a variety of exercise equipment, sports wear and other accessories.
“The Kenyan consumer is not the consumer of 10 years ago. They know it all. They want the best and the latest,” said Vivek Mehra, the managing director for Salute Holdings at the official launch of the store.
SportsPlanet is part of Salute Holdings and it specialises in the sale and service of sports equipment by world-renowned brands such as Grays, Gilbert Bestway, Motion, Adidas, Puma and Nike.
According to Mr Mehra, Kenyans now have an appetite for high-quality branded products because they are better informed.
“In fact, they want the best and the latest that is available in other markets like the US,” he adds.
The desire to keep up with international trends challenges businesses to stock up the latest designs and at affordable prices.
However Mr Mehra, who owns other luxury brand shops such as Apple stores, says what is surprising is that most buyers do not complain about the prices.
“We don’t get many hagglers. Buyers come in to inquire or purchase their favourite brands because they know, for instance Adidas costs this much,” he said.
For Sports Planet, Mr Mehra has partnered with international brands so that he is able to purchase the products directly from businesses such as Adidas and Puma.
For some Kenyans keen on quality sports equipment, Sports Planet will erase the headache of shipping them from overseas.
“People need to see it to buy it, they are looking for value for money,” he added.
The activewear market is growing, carving out a niche for itself in the clothing industry. It is now a trend in fashion in which the comfortable clothing designed for workouts are even worn to other casual occasions.
This has attracted more investors such as former world athletics champion Lornah Kiplagat who launched her sports brand called ‘Lornah’ about three years ago.
“I was not able to get sports apparel which was both functional and fashionable. I wanted to create a collection where function meets fashion and I think the result is really great,” she said in a previous interview.
Besides athleisure, Sports Planet hopes to give Kenyans more ways to have fun be it outdoors or indoors.
“Whatever you want in sports we have it, to the extent of smaller things like board games so that you can keep your mind occupied,’’ Mr Mehra said.