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2018 proves a more promising year for small shop owners

By Lee Mwiti | Jul 26th 2018 | 2 min read
By Lee Mwiti | July 26th 2018

Operators of small shops, commonly referred to as dukas, suffered last year due to a tough economic environment, according to a new survey.

Volumes of goods sold, such as beverages, over-the-counter drugs and food items, dipped from a high of eight per cent in Quarter 1 (January and March) last year to a low of -10.6 per cent in quarter 4 (October and December), the survey released yesterday in Nairobi shows.

The report by Nielsen Holdings, a global performance management company, however, paints a rosier outlook for operators in Quarter 1 of this year, with volumes sold improving by -2.9 per cent.

“Generally, last year, with the political season and drought, there was a lot of inflationary pressure that saw purchasing power among duka customers go down. That is why these small shops went through a difficult period,” said Jacqueline Nyanjom, head of market development for Nielsen East Africa.

“But now things are improving, as inflation begins to ease,” she added. Nielsen, carried out the research on behalf of the non-governmental development organisation TechnoServe, also found that there were 166,796 small shops in the country.

Of these, 17 per cent are in Nairobi, accounting for 39 per cent of total volumes sold. Rift Valley accounts for 19 per cent of the dukas and 20 per cent of the sales volumes, while Nyanza and Western regions account for 22 per cent of the dukas and 13 per cent of the sales volumes. Central and Eastern regions account for 34 per cent of the shops and 21 per cent of the sales volumes, while Coast accounts for seven per cent of the shops and eight per cent of the sales volumes.

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