A survey of competitive strategies adopted by boutiques in Nairobi Central Business District
Small and Micro Enterprises(SMEs) share a big part in the Kenyan economy in terms of contribution to employment-and economic-development , with the unemployment rate in Kenya at 40% majority of people are turning into self employment which mostly start as micro-enterprises. Despite their significance, past statistics indicate that three out of five businesses fail within the first -few -months of operation (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 2007). The Boutique business is perceived to be a high value business, in terms of the products they sell as well as their prices, in this businesses there is constant demand for new clothing products created by fashion designers, these shops are normally in some sort of exhibition malls that come with steep rents and a lot of competition because they are densely populated in the NCBD. It is against this background, this study intended to establish the competitive strategies adopted by boutiques in the NCBD. The study predominantly dealt with Porters Generic strategies model. The study design was a survey, data was collected by use of questionnaires, and descriptive statistics to analyze the data such as mean score, standard deviation; frequencies and percentages were extensively used. The analysis of data revealed that boutiques use competitive strategies, the most used competitive strategies are good customer Service, employing youthful staff, selling current fashion and giving discounts to their loyal customers, Pricing and Location are very important aspects of competition in the boutique industry ,it was found in the study that some firms were not employing these strategies, the fact that some did not consider there been very strong competition since they had operated for long in the business; hence do not apply some competitive strategies which are essential to sustaining competitive advantage. Overall. the findings of this research have shown that the level of Competition in this business is very high and that boutiques use competitive strategies.