US kitchen fittings firm Kohler opens Kenya showroom in Nairobi

Kohler is targeting home-owners looking for superior fittings.
Kohler is targeting home-owners looking for superior fittings. PHOTO/COURTESY
US plumbing and kitchen fittings company Kohler has opened its Kenya’s first showroom in Nairobi as it seeks meet the rising local demand for superior building products.

The family-owned business, which is based in Wisconsin, has set up its fifth Africa showroom in the Ukay shopping mall in Westlands, pushing forward plans to grow its presence across the continent.

Kohler’s other four Africa showrooms are based in South Africa, Mauritius, Angola and Uganda.

“East Africa is by far our most important market in the region. We want to bet big here,” said Salil Sadanandan, Kohler’s president for Middle East, Europe and Africa.

The new facility, which is a joint venture between Kohler and regional kitchen seller Kitchens & Beyond, will stock more than 1,000 Kohler products – from showers and bathtubs to faucets, sinks and toilets.

Kohler Africa is hoping to attract individual home-owners looking for superior fittings as well as investors in the fast growing local hospitality industry.

The firm was recently hired to install bathroom products for the new City Lodge Hotel, which is located at the Two Rivers project in Ruaka.

“The bold look of Kohler bathroom products will be one of the features guests can expect to enjoy in the new City Lodge Hotel,” Kholer marketing manager for sub-Sahara Africa Alida de Klerk said in a statement last year while announcing the Nairobi outlet plans.

Kohler’s expansion into Kenya appears to be informed by the growing appetite for imported fittings among local property developers seeking to woo wealthy buyers and tenants.

Some of the popular imports include ceramic tiles, fitted kitchens, wooden flooring and upholstery among others – most of which are sourced from China.