The Sarit Centre was the first-ever shopping mall in East Africa, which was opened in 1983. The concept for the design was based on the Brent Cross Mall in London, which the developers visited shortly after it opened its doors in the late 1970s. They shared the vision that this new retail concept could be successfully implemented in Nairobi.
Construction commenced in 1981 but was halted by political instability. As a result, around 200 applications for retail units were stunted and many business families left Kenya, meaning only two units were in place on an opening day in April 1983. These were the Uchumi Supermarket, which is still there today, and Text Book Centre.
The objective of the centre has remained the same over the years; to provide a comprehensive one-stop shopping experience with a diverse range of retail and service tenants, providing everything under one roof,” Peter Moll, Public Affairs Coordinator added, “city within a city is the centre’s slogan and a concept that complements our plan for the future of the Sarit Centre and all developments, which we aim to fulfill.”