Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Supermarkets in Thika : Lets go shopping

Biscuits, cocoa, tissue paper, sugar,bathing soap, detergents,toothpaste, kiwi, a can of spray and a packet of nodules. For some the list may include more items. For others including me the list may be shorter or even very very short. By short i mean bathing soap and tissue. This my friends is the list of items we used to have when going back to High School after the Holidays or mid term. Many of us who come from the rural areas used to buy the items from the local shop. Those in town and the few from Ushago were lucky to be given cash to pass by the Supermarket in town and buy the needful. At that time Thika had very few supermarkets namely Mathai Supermarket, Maguna Andu and once upon a time Safeways Supermarket. Tuskys Supermarket was just laying its first foundation bricks.
Over time shopping in Thika, has been revolutionized with the entry of different supermarket into the market. This is inclusive of numerous hyper shops and retail joints. The most popular and pioneer supermarket in Thika over the years remains Mathai suermarket. I dont know the origin of the name but i hear from some quarters that thats the name of the owner. Or maybe he is of Maasai descent but i highly doubt it..someone should educate me on that. Initially Mathai supermarket was just a floor of shopping but over time it has expanded to cover about 4 floors of the Mathai building.
Their basement remains my favourite especially the steps where there is that big mirror you cant help looking at yourself. When in the Thika CBD, its the most ideal place to do your shopping. But be wary especially during school opening days since the supermarket is lined by hundreds of High School students. After meeting in the central town the students head into the supermarket in droves which makes that day less than ordinary for household shoppers. Mathai Supermarket's presence in the Central Kenya region is consolidated in Nyeri and Muranga where they have more branches.
After the entry of the Tuskys brand into the Thika Supermarket affair, shopping has never been the same. Its strategic location metres away from the Thika-Garrisa Highway is ideal for upmarket customers especially those near the Section Nine Estate, Juja and those who want to avoid the congestion of the central town. Its location away fron the central district makes it less favourable especally for the ordinary mwananchi who don't own personal cars.
But there are Tuk-Tuks that ply to and fro. Thika Live has observed the shifting of the market towards that route due to emergence of numerous retail joints, pubs, and the ultra modern building housing the new National Bank Thika Branch. The recent municipal directive to rid off the route of matatus heading out of town has also reduced the congestion along the road.
Few years ago, Leens Supermarket was Leens store with its location being the building opposite the Thika Police Station now converted to shopping stalls. However Leens introduced a supermarket wing opposite the December Hotel. The supermarket owned by an Asian Family has upped the competition in the supermarket industry by having a large variety of products housed in their three floors. These include; Electronics, clothing, Household wares and the list is endless.

Kassmart Supermarket centrally located opposite the Christina Gardens is also a popular shopping spot. Although contricted in terms of space, the supermarket is quite a household name. Its central location also makes it a favourite among the Thika consumers. The supermarket outlets also has a branch in Githurai to tap into the densely populated market.


For Thika consumers who frequent the main Bus Park there is the Maguna Andu, Gideon Supermarket and Thika Tex Supermarket. Magunda Andu being on of the pioneer joints is the favorite of the three. Although its space is limited, you cant help but marvel at the thousands of products housed within the small space and still you can get maneuver space with your shopping basket.
Well that was just a brief look at the major supermarkets in Thika. Overtime, Thika Live will have an individual and more personal look at the supermarkets to understand their origin, products and special offers.
We will also introduce our own analysis of the different supermarket's shopping baskets for the Thika consumers to choose from, for the most affordable combination.


We remain yours truly Thika Live.
Pictures courtesy of Google

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