Chinese firm to open Kenya’s first building materials supermarket

A precast concrete wall
A precast concrete wall with yet-to-be-fitted window spaces.
China Wu Yi will next year open a construction materials supermarket in Athi River after finalising work on its upcoming precast building materials factory in Machakos County.

The facility, which will be the first of its kind in Kenya, will stock construction hardware, ceramic tiles, kitchen furniture, electrical products, bathroom appliances, lamp and stones, among other materials.

The precast building materials factory that has been under construction since September last year is being undertaken by the Chinese firm’s local subsidiary China Wu Yi Precast (Kenya) Company Limited at a cost of Sh10 billion.

The China Wu Yi Kenya Building, Industrialisation Research, Development and Production Base and Construction Material Supermarket, whose completion is due in March, sits on a 30-acre parcel of land off Mombasa Road and has a total floor area of 75,970 square metres.


It comprises an office block, an exhibition area, a 23,850-square metre building materials supermarket, service block, and a hotel.

This is the first facility of its kind to be established overseas by China Wu Yi.

“We settled on establishing it in Kenya owing to the country’s good bilateral relations with China and because it is an economic hub,” said Yihua Lin, the executive deputy general manager at China Wu Yi in Kenya.

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The materials stocked at the supermarket will be sourced from China, although the company has future plans to manufacture most of the products locally.

Precast components such as wall panels, foundation piles, hollow core slabs, and staircases will – however – be manufactured at the Athi River factory. The products will be sold to builders who will be able to acquire custom precast panels to suit their preferences.

Kenyan homeowners are increasingly looking to China for house fittings, thanks to their stylish designs and pocket-friendly prices. Some of the commonly imported products include fitted kitchens, ceramic tiles, lampshades, wooden flooring and upholstery.