As far back as we can tell fashion has been part of what defined culture for people in their various communities, that aspect of life has been carried on for generations and remains true till date, fashion and style is a definition of culture for people today which has led to a booming business the world over and on a more macro level our soon to be crowned city, Eldoret Town. The clothing business or what we normally refer to it as, the boutique business is a competitive one but given its dynamic nature, boutique stores continue to open every day and are thriving.
Starting one in 2022 is however not an easy task. But with some financial ability; a business mindset to move your business forward and creative touch to ensure your products appeal to the market your business may blossom.
Let me tell you why Eldoret is a ripe destination for this venture. Eldoret is known to be the fastest-growing town in Kenya and was recently voted among the best investment destinations. Not only is it home to elite athletes it also hosts several government agencies together with educational Institutions.
Eldoret is also among the most populated urban areas with a population of 475,716 people according to the 2019 Kenya population and Housing census. Evidently from the outlook on the streets, Fashion boutiques are among the thriving businesses in Eldoret.
With that said, below are some of the success factors.
The Ready Market
On the streets of Eldoret town, is a youthful population crisscrossing the busy streets leading to their different institutions and town campuses. One striking thing about them; it’s always a style showdown. Not only do youths buy clothes to keep up with trends, but they also shop for new clothes for parties and events and even just for fun. Youth fashion trends are one area you could never go wrong.
Style and Fashion market in Eldoret is also portrayed through culture. In a cosmopolitan society where everyone appreciates a good time be it events, parties (birthday, bridal/baby showers), pre-weddings, and weddings, a good fashion sense goes a long way. Such events that warrant keeping up with certain themes are always an excuse to visit your favorite boutique and get another piece.
The treasure that is social media technology
Buy online, and pick up in-store is becoming a familiar term when it comes to the clothing business. With the dawn of social media, businesses can now flourish further with just a click of a button.
In my quest to determine how much of a treasure social media is, I had a sit-down with Kevin, a business owner and seasoned social media user from Eldoret, leveraging this technology for advertising and marketing. With enthusiasm written all over his face, this is what he had to say;
“Through social media, I have been able to expand my business in terms of reach than before. Nowadays customers don’t even have to come to the store, they just check the clothes online, make a purchase then I plan deliveries.”
Hoping to raise awareness and promote a great online business environment, he added:
“One downside, however, is that some stores sell cheap and end up delivering to the customers poor quality items. This is ruining the reputation of boutiques online. A reputation that some of us have built over several years”
Eldoret is a hub for neighboring towns
Being the principal town in North rift; Eldoret is connected to a wider network of places such as Kapsabet, Iten, and Kitale. This consequently places it at the heart of significant flows of people. This form of connectivity to the towns and also rural areas in the neighboring counties serves to attract a variety of demographics and ethnicities. This offers great potential for businesses to flourish due to the high consumer expectancy resulting from it.
However, that doesn’t mean that boutique businesses in the town, are not faced with challenges.
Boutique businesses are considered high-value investments. Therefore, for it to take shape and fly it needs constant pumping in of finances for at least six months or even up to a year before profits are realized.
Competition and limited variety
Every other time, I stroll along Elijah Cheruiyot street just to acquaint myself with current trends. Why the street? you might ask. One, it’s because of the many boutiques along the path, and two, I’ll know that something is in trend once I see it in almost every shop. That’s why it is a challenge when it comes to opening a boutique.
The consumer audience behaviors just favor an item just for as long as it’s in trend and forget about it once a new trend is adopted. It poses a challenge for business owners since they can’t restock other things lest they won’t sell. Also, the sales after a trend are dropped, go down immensely affecting business.
The clothing business is among businesses that are flourishing within Eldoret, another business that you will not miss on the streets of Eldoret are phone shops, Electronic stores, Nail bars and many others all these businesses are advised by the youthful population of Eldoret town.