Fashion Retailer sets aside 124m for Uganda market expansion

FASHION retailer Deacons plans to open 19 more shops in the next two years, some of them outside Kenya, chief executive officer Muchiri Wahome said on Friday. He said the firm has set aside close to Sh124.5 million ($1.5 million) for Ugandan expansion in the second quarter.

“Currently we have 31 shops and our target is 50 shops by end of 2014. In the fourth quarter of the year we plan to open three shops in Kampala,” Muchiri told the League of Young Professional Nairobi Chapter.

However, Muchiri declined to quote figures set aside for expansion, saying “it will be difficult to quantify given the Macro Economics environment is changing. But for Uganda expansion in the second quarter we have set aside USD$1.5million.” He said the drive to increase Deacons shops has been fueled by the economic growth and the emerging middle class consumers.

“When you look at Kenya today, consumers are becoming sophisticated everyday. As the economy develops the consumers develops too and their life changes. These are consumers who are chasing trends and there lies an opportunity,” Muchiri said.

In 2010, Deacons had 20 stores while last year they had 31 stores. At the same time the CEO announced that they are keenly eyeing Thika Road Superhighway. Both sales and profit in the first half of this year are expected to be better than the same period a year earlier, he said, without providing further details.

Net income climbed to Sh112.6 million in the 12 months through December from Sh108.5 million a year earlier, the Nairobi-based company said this month. Revenue surged 36 per cent to Sh2.42 billion, it said.

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