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Why malls are struggling to remain in business

The rise in the number of shopping malls in Nairobi has resulted in stiff neck competition. The old malls are losing business to the upcoming ones with state of the art facilities. These include children play areas, gaming zones and other recreational facilities.

Malls are convenient since they give an under-one-roof shopping experience. They also encourage lots of impulse buying.

The best malls in Nairobi include Two Rivers, Garden City, Thika Road Mall (TRM), Westgate, Sarit to name but a few.

A good number of these malls are not fully occupied, and this can be directly related to the rate at which more malls are coming up. Some have reported huge losses while others may soon be pushed out of business.

In spite of the competition, some malls are not giving their clients value for their money. Lack of proper property maintenance and limited ample parking space has resulted in empty shops. Others have security issues with people reporting cases of stolen cars.

But the oversupply of retails spaces at the malls is good news for clients since the rental rates have also come down as the rules of demand and supply become applicable.

The gloomy economy is not making matters any better for the malls. The closure of Nakumatt affected several malls. A case in point is the Nanyuki Mall. It housed the giant supermarket, and this attracted other retailers. But with the exit of Nakumatt, the mall has now become a shadow of itself with empty shops and parking spaces.

Nakumatt, for a long time, was an anchor tenant in many malls and its exit, resulted in huge losses and closure of smaller retailers. Property managers are now keen on ensuring that if an anchor tenant starts facing difficulties, they will look out for quick solutions to avoid a repeat of the ‘Nakumatt experience’.

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