The Porsche dealership in Nairobi, The AfrAsia Bank Wealth Report shows Kenyans' soft spot for the high life

Kenya has been ranked as the second largest market for luxury goods and services in Africa only behind South Africa, offering a glimpse of a select group of citizens’ penchant for the opulent lifestyle.

The AfrAsia Bank Wealth Report 2018 places Kenya amongst the spoils in an African luxury market that generated Ksh223.1 billion in 2017.

South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt are the top five luxury markets in the continent and are being targeted by global brands which are now setting up in strategic malls in key African cities.

“We estimate that the African luxury sector generated approximately US$6.0 billion (Ksh608.7 billion) in revenue in 2017,” reads the report “This figure includes: luxury cars, luxury clothing & accessories, luxury watches, private jets, yachts and luxury hotels & lodges,”

To understand just how much money a select group of Kenyans have to spend, high end car brands Ferrari, Bentley, Masserati and Rolls Royce have all been sold to various individuals residing in the country while Italian car giant Porsche has a dealership in Nairobi.

Further, the opulence is extended to liquor consumption as Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac, Glenmorangie Whisky and Chateau Morgaux all sold like hotcake in the country with the cheapest of the three brands going for Ksh7,500 retail price.

{Read: Report: Kenya 5th richest country in Africa}

Luxury brand stores, Chanel, Christian Dior, Mulbery are all expected to set up shop in the continent in the next decade.

In 2018, a number of luxury brands entered the Kenyan market seemingly to capitalize on the growing affluent Kenyan market which flocks shopping malls ready to splash the cash.

German luxury apparel giant Hugo Boss, French high end retailer Carrefour and French comsetics provider Yves Rocher entered the Kenyan market last year, all of them exuded confidence in their market prospects.

Inside View Kenya 2018, a report authored by leading real estate firm Knight Frank revealed that High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) across the world are increasingly targeting luxury property in Nairobi while the 2019 Knight Frank Wealth Report revealed that Kenya’s super rich are now acquiring private jets for fun.

However as this group of Kenyans splashed the cash, a vast majority of Kenyans are still struggling to make ends meet.

{See also: Big Business City: International visitors spent Sh28 billion in Nairobi}

Speaking in Parliament on February 26, Central Bank Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge caught the attention of the public when he revealed that 99.3% of bank accounts in Kenya have less than Ksh1million.

An indication that very few Kenyans are living large vis-a-vis  the AfrAsia Bank Wealth Report 2018.

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Samuel Gitonga is a senior reporter at BUSINESS TODAY. Email: [email protected]

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