Where to find new profitable locations for your retail business in Mombasa – terrax.africa


Where to find new profitable locations for your retail business in Mombasa

Where to find new profitable locations for your retail business in Mombasa, Kenya

Imagine you are part of a retail business that would like to expand to Mombasa in Kenya. How would you proceed?

The old fashioned way

Many small or medium-size business owners are opportunistic and often guided by instincts and their experience. After doing a bit of desk research such as checking Google Search and Maps, Wikipedia, or even some research papers, they will often realize that data is limited or outdated. that will show limited useful data. Most businesses would turn to personal networks with the hope that they could obtain quality information about Mombasa and potential sites that could be profitable.


After getting these insights, a business would do some local tours to visit locations and talk to people in the respective area. By doing this, they would find out the demands of a few people and also be able to observe if they detect any potential competitor. Some businesses might even strive to conduct surveys and take a more structured approach.

The challenge with this approach is that you will get many subjective opinions of different locations and probably a gut feeling that directs you into one or the other location. Many times, the impressions gathered are not statistically relevant while one lacks the time and resources to conduct proper “scientific” analysis.

The Terrax Africa way

Thanks to advances in technology such as satellite imagery and artificial intelligence it is now possible to do “scientific analysis” and make data-driven decisions. 

At Terrax we analyze high-resolution satellite data from at least two-time reference points and do building classification as well as growth analysis on a per hectare level. This means we can tell you where growth is occurring in terms of property development which is a proxy for economic growth. In addition, we also collect information about existing businesses in different African cities. Putting the two sources together, we come up with interactive dashboards that lets you explore the data and generate insights for your specific use case.

Finding lucrative business locations for a new retail store in Mombasa has never been easier:

Let us assume you would like to set up a new retail store in an area that has experienced significant growth over the past years, already is populated significantly, and only hosts a few retail businesses. You simply put your parameters in the dashboard and it will determine the km² that fits your criteria.

The dashboard first indicates all km² for which there is processed Terrax Africa available (one big blue dot represents a km²). On the top bar, it also shows you the aggregate figures for all selected km². For instance, in the Mombasa area, Terrax Africa has processed 600 km² and determined that the average growth rate per km² between 2013 and 2019 has been 12.04% and as of 2019 141800 buildings were detected. 

Applying your filters, the dashboard will adapt and show the filtered data. For our retail business case, we assumed that we would like an annual average growth of at least 30 new buildings per km², over 300 buildings present per km², and only up to 2 existing retail businesses in the area. The result shows that only 6 km² fit our criteria and the result table indicates that 2 of this 6 km² are located in Bamburi. 

Therefore, a Terrax Africa recommendation would be to have a look into Bamburi if you wished to open a new retail store. The dashboards let you select from a vast array of criteria and conduct a detailed analysis of African cities as it has never been available before.

Leverage your data

Using your data, even more, relevant analysis is possible. For instance, let us assume you already have a few retail businesses in Mombasa or other cities and you know how well each of them performs. Taking the Terrax Data, we can create custom analysis and provide you site location recommendations that reflect the same patterns that match your highest performing outlets.

We do this by taking into consideration building types, densities, growth, businesses, and real estate prices that are within proximity of your existing businesses. We then enhance this data by the relative performance of your business to come up with a custom location profile that contains the highest probability for your business to succeed.

This profile is then similarly applied to the Terrax data as the filters were used in the sample business case above. The results will indicate recommended business locations that will be most profitable to you. They take into account the experience you have made elsewhere. What else do you need to scale efficiently?

Last but not least: targeted physical visits

The site recommendations by Terrax Africa will provide you with targets that eventually need to be verified by a physical visit and proper local assessment. The recommendations do not replace physical evaluation but offer a data-based approach to quickly detect some of the most lucrative potential sites. This allows you to spend your physical evaluation resources more efficiently and lets you discover locations that you have never even thought of.

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