Competition as Turkish fashion chain to open shop in Rwanda

Saturday September 03 2022

Turkish international fashion chain LC Waikiki store in Nyali, Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG


Turkish fashion retailer LC Waikiki will open its first store in Rwanda after it signed an agreement to lease space o the recently auctioned Kigali Business Centre (KBC) shopping complex.

Its entry into the market means Rwandans will have an alternative to compete with shops largely selling Chinese clothing imports.

Although it is still a bit early to determine how cheaper an option their clothes will be in comparison to those in the market, officials from LC Waikiki said they are confident their products will compete favourably in terms of price and quality.

“We benchmark ourselves against competition and ensure that our prices are lower compared with completion and Rwanda will not be exception, We produce the clothes ourselves and this helps in keeping prices low”, said Michael Wekesa, a retail expansion and leasing supervisor at LC Waikiki for East Africa.

The corporate fashion retailer already has nine stores in different Kenyan cities and others are also operational in Uganda. Mr Wekesa said elsewhere in the region, the store competes with second-hand clothes have managed to win a sizable customer base.

“We target the middle class and middle lower segments of the market, and we have managed to outcompete second hand clothes in some African markets in terms of price” he said.


Since the 2016 ban on importation of second-hand clothes and footwear in Rwanda by slapping prohibitive taxes on them, the low-income earners have remained largely uncatered for. Second-hand clothes provided price options where buyers would get clothes for as low as Rwf2000.

The promise that came with the Made in Rwanda clothing plan ended up serving the middle class as they largely selling clothes made from kitenge fabrics ranging from Rwf15000 and Rwf120,000.

The high cost of production has impeded local clothing producers from making affordable clothes, with other players like C&H opting for export.

Mr Wekesa said after opening shop in Rwanda, the shoppers will for instance be able to get a t-shirt at $8 or even lower because of the discounts given every Friday.

“We are able to serve the entire family, from children, men and women, our quality and fashion offering is unquestionable, yet at $10 or less you will walk out of the store with something,” he said.