Leading retailer Naivas plans to expand operations in Karen by occupying 200,000 square feet of retail space at the Waterfront Mall.
Naivas entry which is scheduled to open in October will be replacing South African retailer Shoprite who cut its tenancy in April ending its 10-year lease prematurely. Further, Shoprite has planned to close or dispose off its remaining stores in Kenya.
“We are pleased to welcome Naivas Supermarket on board as a partner who we believe fits perfectly within our growth and expansion strategy. The partnership has been motivated by the need to continually offer shoppers at the mall a wide variety of brands. This confirms our sustained commitment to continue offering Waterfront patrons a lasting experience all under one stable,” said Waterfront Karen Director David Muguku.
Naivas says its new store at the mall will offer 120 direct jobs in line with the retailer’s plans to grow its footprint to include greater employment opportunities.
“We are delighted at the prospect of opening our 66th store at the Waterfront Mall as it offers us an exciting opportunity to provide Karen shoppers the Naivas Food market experience at their doorstep. We have not had a presence in the larger Karen area which has been a long-standing request by our shoppers, we are finally able to fulfill this with the new development,” said Naivas Chief Commercial Officer Willy Kimani.
The Waterfront is located in the heart of Karen on a 50 Acres plot.
Cytonn Investments notes that Karen is a high-end neighborhood in Nairobi located approximately 16 km southwest of the Nairobi central business district. Previously, it was predominantly a residential area but the relaxation of zoning regulations has seen an increase in commercial developments.
“We have seen land values in the area growing at a 7-year Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.2 percent since 2011, from an average of Kshs 25.0 mn per acre in 2011 to Kshs 55.8 million per acre in 2018, fueled by increased demand for property in the area,” said Cytonn in its Karen Investment Opportunity – 2019 brief.
The growth has been attributed to relatively good infrastructure particularly with the increased access, the affluent residents, as well as its proximity to upper mid-end neighborhoods such as Kilimani and Lavington.
Karen recorded an average rental yield of 9.1 percent in 2019, a 1.9 percent points decrease from the 11.0 percent recorded in 2018. Occupancy rates in the node averaged at 77.0 percent, an 11.8 percentage points decline from the 88.8 percent recorded in 2018.
The softened performance was attributable to new entrants into the retail market such as the Waterfront.