Movie Shop Business – Starting a Profitable One in Kenya

Kenya’s film industry has experienced significant growth in recent years, with a growing demand for movies and entertainment. This presents a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs looking to start a movie shop business. However, launching a successful venture requires careful planning and strategic execution. In this article, we will explore the key steps to establishing a thriving movie shop business in Kenya, taking into account the unique characteristics and challenges of the local market.

1. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Study

Before diving into the movie shop business, it is crucial to conduct thorough market research and a feasibility study. Understand the target audience, competition, and market trends. Identify popular movie genres and assess their demand in your chosen location.

Additionally, evaluate the feasibility of the business by assessing the costs involved, potential revenue streams, and profitability projections.

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2. Develop a Movie Shop Business Plan

A well-crafted business plan acts as a roadmap for your movie shop business. It should include the following sections:

  • Executive Summary: Briefly outline the business concept, objectives, and unique selling proposition.
  • Market Analysis: Provide an in-depth analysis of the target market, competition, and potential customer base.
  • Marketing and Sales Strategy: Describe how you plan to promote and sell movies, such as through physical and online channels, social media, partnerships, or customer loyalty programs.
  • Operations: Detail the operational aspects of the movie shop, including store layout, inventory management, staffing, and customer service.
  • Financial Projections: Present a realistic financial forecast, including startup costs, monthly expenses, projected revenues, and profitability estimates.

Step 3: Get the Movie Shop Licences

You need to register your business to avoid clashing with law enforcers and risk the closure of your movie shop.

Lucky for you, most of these business permits are applied online, therefore, saving your time and the cost of moving from one office to another.

Here are the legal licenses you should have before lending your services.

  1. Single business permit – your county government issues this permit at a cost that ranges between KES 3,000 and KES 5,000.
  2. Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) license – this license allows you to produce copies of movies and series legally. This license is issued for KES 4,000 per year.
  3. Kenya Film Censorship Board (KFCB) permit – it is the board in charge of the movie content you will be selling. Its licenses cost around KES 5,000 to KES 10,000.

Now you know the basic legal requirements of running a movie shop business in Kenya.

3. Secure Funding

Based on the financial projections in your business plan, determine the funding required to start your movie shop. Explore various financing options, including personal savings, loans from financial institutions, or partnerships with investors.

Additionally, consider seeking support from government initiatives or grants aimed at promoting entrepreneurship in the film industry.

4. Choose an Ideal Location

Selecting the right location is critical for the success of your movie shop. Look for an area with high foot traffic, preferably close to residential areas, schools, colleges, or entertainment centers.

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Ensure the shop has sufficient space to accommodate your movie collection, a seating area, and a comfortable browsing experience for customers.

5. Stock a Diverse Movie Collection

Curate a diverse collection of movies to cater to different tastes and preferences. Include popular local films, international blockbusters, classic movies, and niche genres.

Here are ways you can get movies:

  1. Buying movies online – this is the most trusted source for getting all kinds of films quickly. Many movie sites are online to purchase movies from, e.g., Netflix, Showmax, and Disney+ Hotstar. However, this source is relatively expensive and requires you to download the movie after the purchase. The basic subscription on most online movie sites ranges from KES 800 to KES 1,000.
  2. Get from another business partner – this is the cheapest way you can get your movies. You need to list the most trending and on-demand films and get them from another person who has already downloaded the movie. Most will offer you the movie at KES 50, and with it, you can produce multiple copies.

Establish relationships with film distributors, both physical and digital, to ensure a steady supply of new releases and exclusive content. Stay updated with current movie trends to meet customer demands effectively.

6. Set Up a Comfortable and Attractive Movie Shop

Create an inviting ambiance in your movie shop by setting up comfortable seating areas, shelves, and display racks. Make it easy for customers to browse and find their desired movies.

Consider investing in a home theater setup to showcase movie trailers and host special screenings. Provide a pleasant customer experience with friendly and knowledgeable staff.

7. Embrace Technology

Incorporate technology to enhance your movie shop business. Create a user-friendly website where customers can browse your movie collection, reserve movies online, and check availability.

Offer online movie streaming or digital downloads as an additional revenue stream. Leverage social media platforms to engage with your audience, share movie recommendations, and announce promotions.

8. Implement Effective Marketing Strategies

Develop marketing strategies to attract customers and build brand awareness. Utilize both traditional and digital marketing techniques. Advertise in local newspapers, radio stations, and television channels.

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Utilize social media platforms to promote special offers, share movie reviews, and engage with customers. Collaborate with local influencers or celebrities to gain wider visibility.


Starting a successful movie shop business in Kenya requires careful planning, market research, and a customer-centric approach.

By conducting thorough feasibility studies, developing a robust business plan, choosing the right location, curating a diverse movie collection, and embracing technology and effective marketing strategies, you can establish a thriving movie shop that caters to the entertainment needs of the local audience.

Stay adaptable, keep up with industry trends, and continuously strive to provide an exceptional movie-watching experience to ensure long-term success in this exciting venture.

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