NAIROBI, Kenya, October 24 -Uganda Leather store has opened three retail stores in Nairobi. Wina Classic Leather Care, an institution that has over 30 years in leather service management has expanded to Nairobi by opening three retail stores at Junction Mall, Village Market and Galeria Mall. The stores will provide leather services and products.

Speaking at the launch in Nairobi, Wina Classic Regional Managing Director, Elvin Isiko, said that their expansion to Kenya was informed by market gap and global trends.

“We found a big gap in Kenya. There are hardly stores that looks after your leather apparel, and we felt there was a need to come in and provide this service. Because, Kenyans consumers are more exposed to global trends, they are looking for quality leather work and they are discerning for better services. Before, investing in this facility we did our market research that showed that indeed there was a dire need of promoting leather work in Kenya,” said Isiko.

At the same time, the store has employed and trained Kenyans female cobbler on leather management, as a way of appreciating the craft.

“We have trained over 10 people in leather work. We took them to Uganda to learn for a period of 10 months. Most of the people that we have employed are from National Youth Service, where they are trained on basics of leather management, but for us we add them knowledge on commercial aspect of leather,” explained Isiko.

The shop opening comes at a time when Kenya’s long-term vision to become an industrialized middle-income country by 2030, its leather and leather products sector offers an important opportunity for industrialization and diversification of exports.

However, value addition in the leather sector has been minimal, and most of Kenya’s exports have been in the form of unprocessed, raw hides and skins. The leather sector can contribute to economic growth through expanding exports of both semi-processed and finished leather goods.

The development of the sector involves improving the raw material base (especially the quality of hides and skins), boosting the tanning subsector, producing leather goods, and marketing.

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