How To Build a Successful Shoe Selling Business In Kenya In 2024

When looking for a business idea, confirming it meets the needs of the hour is crucial. The shoe-selling business in Kenya is one such venture that boasts high demand and profit margins.

To build a successful shoe-selling business, you will need an initial capital of between Kshs 50,000 and Kshs 200,000. In this venture, strategic marketing and excellent customer service will see you garner a daily return of Kshs 1,000 and above.

This era has attracted a massive fashion following, making dressing and footwear a big deal. Whether going to an event or on a daily routine, the shoe is a must for almost everyone in the country.

Hence, depending on your shop’s location, you enjoy high demand from across the state. Moreover, when you establish a shoe brand for a specific niche, your target audience will always come to you for the specific shoe type.

This piece covers

  • What shoe selling business entails
  • Advantages of opening a shoe-selling business
  • A step-by-step guide to starting a shoe-selling business in Kenya
  • Factors to consider before opening a shoe-selling business
Shoe-selling business in Kenya

Let’s take an inside look!

Shoe Selling Business In Kenya: What It Entails

A shoe display stand in a store

The shoe selling business is diverse with these two main categories

  1. New Shoes: In this category, you purchase brand-new footwear at a wholesale price and resell them at a profit.
  2. Second-Hand Shoes: The second-hand shoe-selling business in Kenya entails purchasing used bales or shoes to resell as a retailer.

You can operate from a physical or online shop depending on your preferences and your target audience’s demands. Nevertheless, having a physical spot is important, even when operating remotely. This will help you to build trust with prospective customers.

Some selling businesses can also be classified into different niches, including:

  • Men’s Shoes: This niche entails selling all types or one type of men’s shoes, for instance, official, loafers, sports, and boots, among others. You can incorporate different footwear to attract a massive audience.
  • Women’s Shoes: Women’s shoe dealers sell female footwear like heels, flat or doll shoes, and sports shoes.
  • Kid’s Shoes: This type of dealer offers a selection of kids’ shoes. You can focus on a specific age limit matching your location’s demands to maximize profitability.

Why Open a Shoe Selling Business In Kenya

A model posing in designer footwear 

Older generations tell the story of having one shoe for every occasion; however, it’s different from the current citizens. They will shop multiple pairs of shoes in one shopping experience and pile them on shoe racks to match all their outfits.

Here are some key reasons why you should invest in a shoe-selling business:

Ready Market

People no longer buy shoes because they’re a need; rather, they’re fashion pieces that need to match their outfits and make a statement. As a result, they buy in bulk, and you enjoy massive sales when you offer top-quality and beautiful shoes.

Nevertheless, you have to apply a strategic marketing plan to put you ahead of the competition to attract these returns. 

Highly Profitable

Linking with the right shoe supplier will help you acquire shoes at a great price. Hence, you can resell them at the market price and enjoy great profit margins. You can benefit from such deals by shipping or networking with the best local wholesalers.

Low Initial Capital

The shoe-selling business in Kenya is not capital-intensive. Depending on your budget, you can open this venture with as little as Kshs 50,000 and expand gradually. 

Again, you don’t need special skills to run a shoe business. Hence, you won’t spend funds on training, unlike in farming or a salon business.

Step-By-Step Guide To Open a Shoe Selling Business In Kenya

A small shoe-selling business

Trying to figure out what you need to start a shoe-selling business? Here are steps to follow when opening a shoe business in Kenya

Step 1. Research The Market

Before opening a shoe-selling business, you should identify the fast-moving footwear and where you can source. In addition, it’s necessary to learn the demand patterns depending on seasons to inform your purchase decisions.

Typically, women’s shoes are in higher demand than men’s footwear. Hence, stocking feminine shoes can earn you more profit than male designs. 

Step 2. Develop a Business Plan

Once you gather significant information, such as the high demand footwear, competition, and supplier list, you should create a fitting business plan. 

A business plan contains the following information:

  • The initial capital
  • The source of capital
  • The business location
  • The suppliers or source

A business plan gives you direction when starting a business, especially when you are using accurate information to write each section.

Step 3. Find a Strategic Location

Now that you understand the business environment you’re getting into and have a business plan, you should search for a suitable space to start your business. When choosing a store location, here are things you should consider

  • Competition: Check the number of shoe stores in that place
  • Population in the area: Is there high foot traffic, and will your business be visible?
  • Availability of utilities: Can you access water and electricity?
  • Security: Opening a business in an insecure area may mean regular theft cases leading to massive losses in the long run

Step 4. Obtain Legal Documents

Legal documents are a crucial requirement when starting any business in Kenya. Without them, you’re bound to experience constant interruptions by the authorities. So, what legal documents should you get to start your shoe-selling business?

  • Business Registration: Kenya’s government has made registering your business easy. Unlike before, you can now apply for a business name online. Login to eCitizen and go to the eBusiness section to create an account.

The registration process is well-articulated right here to ensure a smooth application process. Moreover, you will only need basic items such as your KRA pin and ID. Other details include contacts such as email and phone number. 

  • Business Permit: If you’re operating a physical store in your location, you have to obtain a business permit from your cunty authorities. This document’s cost varies from one county to another, so ensure you confirm with your county authorities. Nevertheless, you can expect to spend between Kshs 5,000 and Kshs 10,000.
  • License: A license requires a yearly fee, depending on the nature of your business. The figure varies. Hence, you should confirm with the county authority offices.

Step 5. Prepare The Store and Organize Your Stock

Once you have a suitable location and all the necessary legal documents, you can modify your store by fitting shelves for display and a counter for sales. You don’t have to use expensive wood; you can consult a local carpenter to construct simple and beautiful spaces for display.

When the display and counter are ready, purchase your first stock and arrange it properly. Feel free to brand your store with a popular or relatable name.

Also Read:

Factors To Consider Before Opening a Shoe Selling Business In Kenya

Men shoes displayed in a circle

It’s easy to rush through the initial steps of a business as a first-time entrepreneur, leading to unnecessary mistakes that may cost your business. Here are factors to consider for a better business experience

Target Market

The target market is the audience you want to sell your products to. They can be categorized by status, gender, or profession. 

Social status determines whether you will sell high or low-end footwear. If you’re targeting low-income earners, you will deal in low-end shoes. However, if your target market is high-income earners, you should sell high-end footwear.

Gender determines whether you will stock feminine or male footwear. If you focus on ladies, you will specialize in footwear such as heels, doll shoes, and female sneakers. On the contrary, if your target audience consists of male clients, you will deal in men’s footwear.

Girls shoe collection 

Profession narrows your inventory to official shoes, sports shoes, safety boots, and flats. So, depending on your target audience’s demands, stock the fastest-moving type of footwear.

Suppliers (Local vs. International)

Before you source your shoes from local or international shoes, you should consider their prices, types of footwear, variety, and reliability. This will allow you to settle for what your target market wants.

If you realize an international supplier has better quality and wide selection than the local ones, you can source from them. However, if the quality and selection are similar with a slight price difference, you can source from the local supplier to save time.

Capital Vs. Shoe Business

Your capital determines whether you will start a new or second-hand shoe business. So, consider your budget to determine what type of shoe business you can establish.

If you’re working on a tight budget, you should go for low-end footwear like second-hand shoes and affordable new shoes like flat shoes or plastic sandals.

With a high capital amount, you can source for high-end new shoes or designer shoes if your target market prefers them.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Much Does It Cost To Start a Shoe Business In Kenya?

Depending on the type of footwear and premise location, you will need an initial capital of between Kshs 50,000 and Kshs 200,000 to start a small shoe business in Kenya.

2. How Can I Make My Shoe Business Profitable?

You can make your shoe business profitable by doing the following:

  • Increasing Your Online Presence: Top shoe manufacturers are mincing big bucks by enhancing their online presence. You can leverage this using the right channels. You just need to find the place where your target audience chills and develop a fitting marketing plan.
  • Offer Excellent Customer Service: If you’re operating your business online or in a physical store, you should train your staff on the best customer service practices. 
  • Provide Your Clients with Top-Quality Footwear: Stocking quality footwear will help you build trust as a reliable shoe retailer. As a result, you will retain your customer base and receive positive reviews, attracting more clients.


The shoe-selling business in Kenya is among the most lucrative ventures in the country. However, you must set up your business in a suitable location and stock footwear that matches your target market’s needs and preferences. 

Want to explore more money-making and investment ideas? Check out the top finance guides in our store.

Written by Alex

Written by Alex

I have passion in helping people Make, Manage, Multiply & Protect Wealth.Download my Free Guide to Financial Freedom >>[ GET IT HERE]<<