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Furniture shop of a kind

Kevin Muriithi and his brother wanted to open a nightclub. They went shopping for furniture but hit a dead end because what was in the market was costly and did not suit their needs.

This inspired their next move.

“We found that established shops were selling their products expensively and so we made our first trip to Malaysia in search of cheaper but quality furniture,” said Mr Muriithi, co-founder and chief executive Jabali Furniture.

The trip was a life changer.

“Instead of using the furniture we had imported to start a nightclub, we opened a shop to provide affordable furniture to Kenyans,” said the 29-year-old.

They injected Sh4 million into the business. The amount facilitated importation of the first consignment, renting of storage space on Thika Super Highway and a shop in Westlands.

The capital was from savings they had realised from their car hire business. 

Jabali Furniture provides full-house furnishing and offers free delivery services throughout the country.

Over the time, the company has grown its portfolio to include China as a source market.

“China offers variety and quality office furniture. We get house furnishing from Malaysia because they are unique,” he added. 

So what sets their firm apart? Jabali Furniture offers a three-month payment plan for those who need a grace period to make payments. 

Mr Muriithi said customers can choose to collect the item once they have cleared payment or place a standing order when they need to take the furniture. 

What’s more interesting is that payment by instalment does not attract interest. 

“Our prices are never fixed. Clients are at liberty to haggle, whether they’ll pay in instalment or cash,” he added.

This flexibility has earned Jabali Furniture customers from all walks of life; from the stylish university students to company CEOs. 

Loyal clients

“Minding customers’ needs and keeping in touch with them has earned us loyal clients and referrals,” said the last born in a family of four.

The growth the firm continues to realise has helped the two brothers expand its storage facility and plans are underway to move into a bigger showroom in Westlands. 

Mr Muriithi who studied accounts at Strathmore and KCA universities hopes to grow the company revenue from Sh15 million realised in 2013 to Sh60 million this year.