The four day sale initiative of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in partnership with Textile and Apparel Firms under the Export Processing Zones programme to test where there is an appetite for Made in Kenyan products as for far long been flooded with second hand clothes.
The super sale allowed Kenyans to buy original international fashion brands including Victoria Secrets, Tommy Hillfiger and Calvin Klein among others. Products which were priced between Sh100 and Sh600 for items that cost Sh4,000 to Sh8,000 in international markets.
Industrialization and Trade Cabinet Secretary said that they were pleasantly surprised at the level of demand people have for these products, the interest and the desire and the satisfaction that people got. People were queuing for more than six hours to get into the KICC center to actually buy a piece of jeans or a blouse or a top or an innerwear and in those four days over 50,000 garments have been sold.
The country exports more than US$400million â€“ Sh. 40 billion â€“ per year to the US under the AGOA program, with the government saying it intends to exceed a billion dollars in the next two to three years.
They also want to sell Sh8 billion worth of textiles and fabrics into the domestic market per year . This will be possible following the agreement that has been effective for the last twelve months allowing EPZ companies that are exporting fabric to sell up to 20 percent of their produce into Kenya.
The employment creation potential that the textile sector has is one of the reasons the ministry has placed emphasis on the sector.
Additionally, the sector has also built experience and made the export market available to Kenya.
According to the CS, tax legislation, for instance, has caused hurdles for countries planning to tap the export market. But the changes in legislature and policy are now favoring the domestic market.
The threat that many African countries, including Kenya, suffer from is that they do produce things, but sometimes these things are unavailable to the domestic market. Where there is access, thereâ€™s also second-hand products which come in to compete with new products that are usually more pricey.
Wholesalers, especially those involved in the Mitumba sector are urged to go to EPZ factories directly, buy and sell these products through their established value chains and supply chains.
The super sale is currently ongoing at the Thika Road Mall, with plans of taking it to other counties in the pipeline They are planning to do one in Mombasa, Meru and another one in Eldoret.
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