Why China Square Will Remain Closed Indefinitely

In the first two weeks in business, our sales turnover was Sh20 million. Nowadays, on a bad day, we sell goods worth Sh10 million.

Why China Square Will Remain Closed Indefinitely
Photo /Courtesy

China Square, located in Unicity Mall along Thika Road, which has been the talk of most Kenyans living in Nairobi has announced it will remain closed until further notice. 

The enterprise noted that it will remain closed to sort out some arising concerns that will ensure the safety of its customers. "We, China Square Limited, regret to inform you that we will continue to close down for further notice...As a supermarket, we are unable to handle the high volume of traffic, which has become a severe concern for the public safety of all our customers, we are arranging more security guards onsite," the statement noted.

The announcement follows a meeting held on Sunday to restructure its operations. The company management had announced it would resume operations normally on Monday.

Additionally, the retail store stated: "Some of the statements on the internet have been misleading people, and some customers have overrated our services which have created unrealistic expectations. We need to close down and give a cooling down period."

Famed for its availability of cheap products in its shop, China Square Mall has gained popularity among Nairobians but that is not without also attracting criticism.

On Friday, Trade CS Moses Kuria noted that in as much as Kenya welcomes Chinese investors, they were here as manufacturers and not traders. Adding that he had held talks with the Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Prof Paul Wainaina on the shop’s lease.

"I have today given an offer to Prof Wainaina the VC Kenyatta University to buy out the lease for China Square, Unicity Mall, and hand it over to the Gikomba, Nyamakima, Muthurwa and Eastleigh Traders Association," he said.

[Trade CS Moses Kuria. Photo/Courtesy]

Following the CS’s comment, Lei Cheng, the owner of China Square Mall issued a statement on Sunday informing its customers of the shop’s closure.

He mentioned that he is taking time away to re-evaluate and re-plan the business strategy following claims it had driven Kenyan traders out of business with lowly priced goods.

In part, the statement informed: "We regret to inform you that China Square Limited will be temporarily closed on Sunday, February 26,2023.”

He further added that the company is considering cooperation with local traders with an aim to better integrate itself with the community.

In a media interview, Mr. Cheng, 37, revealed that he visited Kenya for the first time in September 2022. Affirming that he immediately fell in love with the country, he added that his visit to the local supermarkets surprised him after he found out that most cheap items he knew very well were imported from his home country had been over-priced.

Seeing the business opportunity, he went back to China and got some suppliers into the idea of setting up a shop in Kenya, which eventually led to the opening of China Square.

Mr. Cheng also stated that he opened his business on January 29, 2023, and in the first two weeks, he made sales worth Ksh20 million.

“We opened this store on January 29 this year. We are barely a month old. In the first two weeks in business, our sales turnover was Sh20 million. Nowadays, on a bad day we sell goods worth Sh10 million,” Mr Cheng said.

[Lei Cheng, the owner of China Square. Photo/Courtesy]

Undisturbed by the outbursts his business has caused in Kenya, following traders' accusations that he is reducing prices by almost half, therefore, cutting them off from the market, Mr. Cheng stated: “My business is legal and is centered on healthy competition. We have cooperated with all government directives for opening a business in Kenya and we are here to break the monopoly. The people who are fighting us feel threatened because Kenyans now know we exist and we are not exploiting them in pricing.”

A graduate of International Trade from a South African University, Mr. Cheng’s company employs 130 people.

He is not only pleased with the success of his company but Mr. Cheng also prides his company on bringing life to the once-dull UniCity Mall that is now booming with traffic.

The mall is said to have been operating at 10 percent occupancy after being snubbed by local supermarkets.

If you have a real estate press release or any other information that you would like featured on African Real Estate Blog Post do reach out to us via email at [email protected]