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Feature: Chinese shoes capture Kenyan market

Date : 2016-05-26  | From : Xinhua

At the junction of a busy road in the RiftValley town of Nakuru, a gentleman passionately explains to a number of peoplestanding before a number of shoes, price of each pair.

Some of the customers were selecting fromthe wide assortments while others were scanning over the collection, perhapsthinking through their choice.


The trader John, sells fairly affordableand durable rubber shoes imported from China.


"They are marketable that is why Isell them,"John told Xinhua on Saturday afternoon.


"Many customers return to buy more fortheir loved ones or friends. If you look at them, the fabric used is a littletough and the sole is heavy. It takes days before someone can get a replacementand I believe that is why people love them," explained John from his openair stall.


A bale of Chinese imported shoes cost anaverage of 250 U.S. dollars, he said, adding the clientele usually buy up totwo bundles in a good month, particularly during holidays.


"We started receiving them (Chineseshoes) in 2010. Before then we used to have importations from South Africa andAmerica,"said John who is in his ninth year in the shoe selling business.


His current price for a pair ranges from8.5 dollars to 12 dollars depending on the design and size.


John who moved from the capital Nairobi toNakuru in 2009 due to high competition said the latter offers a promisingdemand resulting from a growing middle class who observe fashion trends.


"They are stylish and unique. Findinga big size for the customers is however one of my biggest challenges so far.The lucky ones are those below size eight, they can easily find a pair,"he noted.


Growing trade and commercial exchangesbetween China and Kenya has seen a rise of Chinese products in the Kenyanmarket.


The distribution of Chinese products inwholesale and retail market in telecommunication, beauty and textile isbringing changes to Kenyan economy.

Furthermore, telecommunication gadgets suchas mobile phones and smartphones of Chinese origin are equally sold inwholesale and retail shops across the country.


Kenya is also importing heavy machinery andfarming equipments from China to enhance performances in the key sectors of itseconomy.