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Jade Collections goes for smaller branches to reduce rent

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Jade Collections founder Banice Mburu. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Local fashion retailer Jade Collections has begun a restructuring process to downsize store space following impact of the pandemic that has seen decline in sales.
  • Founder Bernice Mburu has said the company will be relocating physical stores occupying larger spaces to smaller spaces to reduce maintenance costs and rent.
  • As at early this year, the retailer was operating eight branches including three in Nairobi CBD, Mombasa Road, Westlands, Thika, Eldoret and Kisumu.

Local fashion retailer Jade Collections has begun a restructuring process to downsize store space following impact of the pandemic that has seen decline in sales.

Founder Bernice Mburu has said the company will be relocating physical stores occupying larger spaces to smaller spaces to reduce maintenance costs and rent. As at early this year, the retailer was operating eight branches including three in Nairobi CBD, Mombasa Road, Westlands, Thika, Eldoret and Kisumu.

Some of the stores that have been first targeted include Kisumu branch and Hailee Selassie branch in Nairobi CBD. Even though Ms Mburu denied closing the store permanently, the business is yet to identify a location to shift the store.

“We have begun a restructuring process of the whole company looking to close branches that are non-performing and going to smaller affordable spaces. The pandemic has seen rent become high hence the need to move,” Ms Mburu said.

Companies have been grappling fr with adverse effects of the pandemic that has led to slowdown in activities, declined consumer spending and footfall in retail stores. This has forced some companies to announce job layoffs and unpaid leaves, while others seek to scale down operations and size to cut costs.

Ms Mburu said the sales have plunged over the period as consumers focused on food items rather than purchase of new outfits. The firm has also closed one wing of its Kisumu store located in Mega Plaza to operate one wing. The company has maintained its stand to open more branches, seeking areas with high foot traffic like out of Nairobi city areas, Meru and Kisii.

The pandemic has exacerbated the struggle faced by fashion market dependent on imported second-hand clothing .

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The market has also been highly competitive from other players such as Tuskys- Mavazi Wear, Kings Collection, Mr Price, Vivo Active wear, international brands such as LC Waikiki and Woolworths among other stand-alone import fashion shops and online stores.