How Nakumatt can re-energise for a comeback

Shoppers at a Nakumatt Supermarket outlet in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Shoppers at a Nakumatt Supermarket outlet in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The woes of Kenya’s equally loved and vilified retail giant Nakumatt have been fodder for conversations across various sectors—from agriculture, finance, logistics, marketing, human resource and even technology.

The recent announcement that they are in advanced talks with Tuskys Supermarket with whom they have a shared start-up connection set the interwebs ablaze again.

Many are struggling to see the fit or benefit of the perceived bailout in a series of events, pegged on a strategy misstep and probable poor governance that have the iconic elephant of retail on its knees.

That the Nakumatt brand is strong, has stellar locations and a large consumer base that is still vouching for it, is not in question.

There is a reason why every single mall that has come up in the past decade sought them out as anchor tenants.

As we continue to get better visibility into the operations of the “former” retail giant, the one question that remains is; how will they re-energise their entire supply chain and make for a terrific comeback?

At the core of that answer lies in one word — pain. Nakumatt and its saviours must look at the pain that exists across its supply chain and move swiftly to stop it and provide a two prong approach that first deals with historical issues and second provides grounding for a mutually beneficial future.

For consumers, inconsistent experiences would need to be addressed and digital channels of consumptions opened up and made to work, in line with changing behaviours.

While organic foot traffic is the claim to value for many brick and motor retailers, it is time to switch it up and be active towards generating demand based on till and Nakumatt Global card data that they have collected over the years. Here is an opportunity to reimagine the in-store experience and model.

For suppliers and financial partners, the issue of payment fluidity ranks as number one.

What can they do differently to ensure that they become the choice partner for thousands of suppliers both big and small for whom cash flow is king and 60 – 90 day pay cycles are like a terminal illness?

They could reengineer their systems to offer unprecedented supplier payment turnaround while giving additional value, possibly converting them to customers of an in-house data analytics and advertising platform that empowers suppliers to run better operations riding on real-time consumer and market data.