- Website: www.kitea.ma
- Sector: ELITE Morocco
- Country of operations: Morocco
“Offer what people want to buy, not just what you want to sell.”
That’s the motto of Kitea Group – and it’s one that’s served the furniture retailer well since it was founded in 1993. “This approach is a big part of the secret of our success, and this is my advice to any business starting out,” says CEO Hicham Ben Brahim.
From starting out with a 300 sq m store and five employees, Kitea Group now has stores in 17 cities across Morocco and more than 1,000 staff. The firm, whose headquarters are in Morocco’s capital, Casablanca, operates three types of stores: Kitea City neighbourhood shops selling flat-pack furniture; Kitea Geant stores, which are larger, one-stop shops selling home equipment and decorative items; and its Casa stores, which are franchised outlets selling decorative items, tableware, accessories and gifts. These offerings reflect Kitea Group’s ability to adapt to consumer demands – something that has helped the firm earn a reputation as a pioneer in Morocco’s furniture market.
“Offer what people want to buy, not just what you want to sell”
Yet although the company has grown and prospered, it has endured some tough times as well. “Following a period of high investment from 2010 to 2012, which involved €45m [$47m] of capital expenditure, Kitea faced difficult economic conditions in 2013 and 2014 due to the effects of the world economic crisis on the Moroccan market,” recalls Hicham. “The company had to conduct a restructuring programme in the finance, logistics, sourcing and sales departments.”
With those difficulties firmly in the past, the company is again looking at ways to expand. Its current development plan includes opening four new Kitea Geant shops, in Casablanca, Marrakech, Tetouan and Agadir. The retailer is also planning to invest in a new concept for neighbourhood shops in city centres, while cross-border expansion is also on the cards.
- 17 - The number of cities in Morocco in which Kitea Group has stores
“At the international level, many African actors have expressed an interest in developing Kitea stores in various countries,” says Hicham. “The group will soon be present in North and West African countries, including Tunisia, Senegal, Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire.”