London-based private equity firm Actis today opened Nairobi's Garden City mall. The first phase of the project includes 33,000m2 of retail space, residential units and a parking area. The Garden City development is located along the Thika highway, a multi-million dollar road completed in 2012 that connects Nairobi with the town of Thika, about 40km north-east of Kenya’s capital. However, some stores were not opened today, while in others workers appeared to be putting together the finishing touches. Shoppers began arriving from as early as 7am. How we made it in Africa's Dinfin Mulupi visited the mall and captured these images.
Massmart Africa director Mark Turner speaks to the media inside the Game store at Garden City. The opening of Game, part of South Africa's Massmart, marked the retailer's first entry into the Kenyan market.
Garden City has attracted multiple foreign brands including US-fast food chain KFC. However, the KFC store was not open today.
The food court area was mostly empty since the restaurants and coffee shops that have leased space at the mall are yet to open.
Sylvia Mwangi, a products promoter for Sameer Agriculture and Livestock, speaks to a customer about the company's Creambell ice cream brand inside the Nakumatt supermarket. Many brands offered discounts as part of the mall opening in a bid to woo shoppers.
Caroline Gathui-Mwithiga, founder and owner of Funky Kidz Retro at her store. "I knew this mall would attract the calibre of customers I am targeting," she says about opening her second outlet.
Garden City features a central park comprising a children's play area and space to host entertainment events. The park area sits between the mall and the residential part of the project.
US footwear label Skechers and British high street brand Clarks opened inside the Nakumatt outlet. Nakumatt, the biggest retailer in East Africa, is a franchisee for the two brands.
Cat Achieng, co-founder and director of high-end women's clothing store Fiallis sifts through her stock. "The location along Thika Road was attractive to us because of the huge number of people that live and work this side of the city," she says.
Nakumatt opened its 53rd store at the Garden City mall. The retailer is set to face competition from new entrant, South Africa's Game.