Corporate News

Naivas steps up expansion with upmarket store

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Workers do final touches on the new Naivas Supermarket to be opened in Nairobi’s Westlands area.  Diana Ngila

Workers do final touches on the new Naivas Supermarket to be opened in Nairobi’s Westlands area. Diana Ngila 

By Mugambi Mutegi

Posted  Monday, March 4  2013 at  18:12
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Naivas Supermarket has stepped up investment in upmarket locations with the opening of a branch at Nairobi’s Westlands set for Friday.

The opening of the branch on the busy Nairobi-Nakuru highway will bring the second-tier supermarket chain’s branches to 26 countrywide.

The Westlands branch targets commuters on the busy highway, residents as well as those working in the area.

It marks a departure from Naivas’ preference for densely-populated zones in estates and select town centres across the country with just a few situated in upmarket areas.

This has set Naivas apart from its top-tier peers—Nakumatt, Tuskys and Uchumi—that have over the years ventured aggressively into high-end areas with malls targeting the growing middle class.

“Westlands has a diverse market, including the working class, those on transit to places like Kikuyu and Kinoo and beyond,” said Willy Kimani, Naivas business development and marketing manager.

The entry into Westlands will pit it against Nakumatt, Uchumi and Chandarana supermarkets branches.

The chain has recently set up branches in increasingly affluent places like Kitengela, Ngong Road (at the newly completed Green House) and Nyali, with eyes on top-end clientele its competitors have monopolised.

Naivas Supermarket is a family business that started under the trading name Rongai Self Service Stores Ltd operating within Nakuru before expanding to Elburgon and Naivasha.

The supermarket chain, which was registered in 1998, is steered by brothers Simon Mukuha and David Mukuha, who are listed as its directors on the firm’s website.

It has over the years marketed itself as the affordable store for the common Kenyans, which informed its choice of location for its branches.

In Nairobi, the supermarket has outlets within the Central Business District (CBD), Komarock, Hazina, Ruaraka, Ongata Rongai, Donholm, Kasarani among other areas.

Entry of Naivas into Westlands comes at a time the country’s retail industry is experiencing increased activity.

Nakumatt, which is Kenya’s biggest retailer in terms of revenue with Sh38 billion in sales recorded last year, has in the past two weeks opened two branches in Thika Town and along the Nairobi’s Thika Superhighway.

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