How to Start a Retail Shop in Kenya

Retail business has employed thousands of people in Kenya. A retail shop is where a shopkeeper sells household items like sugar, flour, bar soap, cooking oil, snacks among others to the residents of that area.


Whether rural or urban areas, it’s safe to start a retail shop. In as much as there is competition, you will succeed if you become creative and employ business skills. It all trickles down to having a good business plan so as to determine your key partners, how you are going to put together resources for the business, to identify your target customers and how you’re going to overcome competition. Such a plan will also help you know the costs you will incur, how you will generate revenue and how to choose the right channels for marketing your business. This article will equip you with the skills you need to run a retail shop in Kenya.
starting a retail shop

How to choose a suitable location for your retail shop in Kenya

Finding a suitable business place is one step towards the success of your retail business. A strategic retail shop is one situated in a highly populated area near households. It can also work well if its near a market or shopping center. Put into account the accessibility and convenience of the place and because of many shops that may be near you, focus on excellent customer service which will make you stand out.

The licenses and permits need to run a retail shop in Kenya

To legalize your business, you have to obtain the necessary licenses. For a retail shop you need a single business permit that will cost you an average of Kshs 8000 annually. If the business is located in a town center, you may also need signage and advertisement licenses. In addition, remember to obtain the trading license, fire safety license and food hygiene certificates.

Where to find suppliers for the products you’ll sell in your retail shop

Whereas there are general items sold in a retail shop, you will have to identify the specific items you will stock up according to the market needs. That’s why its important to do a market research to understand the market dynamics before buying inventory. But importantly is that you understand the common household items and add unto them other highly demanded goods. Another consideration is who will be your suppliers; a reliable supplier guarantees you sales hence profits.

Funding — where do you get the needed capital to start a retail business in Kenya?

After identifying the location, products for sale and the licenses you need to obtain before the business kicks off, you need to identify sources of capital. The amount of resources you are able to pull together will determine the size of the business. Depending on the location, Ksh 50,000 – ksh 100,000 is enough to start a retail shop and stock up the more as the business grows. Remember to include rent and shelf costs in the budget.

Competition and Marketing

As earlier mentioned, there already exists retails shops across the country, indicating stiff competition. However, by formulating a marketing plan, you’re able to stand out in terms of selling quality products, offering favorable prices to customers and excellent customer service. Consider networking by use of posters, referrals and local adverts to make your business’ existence known. Do you know to write a marketing plan for your retail shop? You should.

Final word

In conclusion, all factors put into consideration, a general shop will earn up to 30% profits which is able to cater for business expenses as long as you maintain cheaper suppliers. Therefore, a retail shop business is a profitable venture as long as you’re unique in customer service delivery. Now you know what you need to prosper and the estimated costs of a rental business in kenya.