Before Remodelling (above) and After Remodelling (below)
Mtaragon is a small town in Kericho County. The town is in a very remote part of the county and is sparsely populated. Most of its land has been dedicated to farming for subsistence use with a few farmers engaging in commercial farming. The area is a lush of green with town centers characterized by a chain of wooden shops which stock almost everything under one roof.
One such shop belongs to Mr. Zachary Thuku who is very popular with the farmers in the area. He has owned his shop for close to 15 years and before he began interacting with KMT, he was stocking it with an array of products including household items, fuel, foodstuff, clothing, hardware tools and farm inputs.
He used to joke about his merchandise all being under one roof but was also quick to point out that it was much too expensive to open a separate store since most of his clients only buy basic needs and farm inputs, depending on the season. However, one visit organized by Kenya Markets Trust (KMT) changed his mind completely and allowed him to begin operating his business in a new way.
Zachary and his wife were among the beneficiaries of an exposure visit to Farm Shop; an enterprise increases smallholder productivity by providing farmers with high quality products, services, and information. The visit was organized by KMT to give rural based agro-dealers more insight into how to improve their businesses. It is one of KMT’s key initiatives to increase access to inputs through improving how the agro-dealers run their businesses, and also how they relate with their clients.
During the visit, Zachary got a better understanding on shop remodeling and co-branding which Farmshop have done very well. Shop remodeling is a strategy that helps agro-dealers to move from the more traditional ‘cell’ setup to a more open and inviting setup similar to supermarkets. Co- branding strategies encourage the smaller rural agro-dealers to partner with big agro-dealers so that they get better standing in the market.
After the exposure visit, Zachary split his shop and re-stocked it to give more priority to the farm inputs. “ When I went for the exposure visit organized by KMT, I liked the shop display in the other agro-dealers shop and wanted mine to be look same way too,” he says.
Shop remodeling and co-branding have proven to be successful within the franchises that Farnshop owns.
In February 2104, he launched his new shop Zawa as a franchise of Parksons to the delight of his customers. Parksons is a large agrodealer based in Kericho town with 500 stockists (retailers who purchase from his shop) within the County. Zawa has become the first exclusive agro-dealer shop to set up in Mtaragon. This has allowed Zachary to interact better with his clients who now prefer his current shop design. On the day he launched his shop, Zachary received numerous customers who have already registered with him. He is now aware of their needs and is working with Parksons to meet them.