Choppies to open outlet in Embakasi

Botswana-based Choppies supermarket’s outlet in Nakuru. PHOTO | SIMON LIBAFU | NMG
Botswana-based Choppies supermarket’s outlet in Nakuru. PHOTO | SIMON LIBAFU | NMG 

Botswana retailer Choppies is set to open a new outlet in Embakasi by end of the year, bucking the trend that has seen several supermarkets announce branch closures in recent months.

Choppies, which entered the Kenyan market by taking over several Ukwala stores last year, will become the anchor tenant at Embakasi’s South Field Mall.

The mall, whose other tenants include Java, Nairobi Hospital, KFC and Bata, is scheduled for opening by the end of this year.

Choppies opened a new outlet at Kiambu Mall in August, taking up space that was previously allocated to market leader Nakumatt Supermarkets.

Vijay Kumar, Choppies East Africa’s executive director, told the Business Daily at the time that the retail chain plans to open five outlets at Diamond Plaza (Parklands), Signature Mall (Molo), Spur Mall (Ruiru) and another one in Diani (Mombasa) by the end of this year and three more by mid-2018.

“Our intention is to have hyper and express signature stores that stock local as well as offer international brands that are currently unavailable in the market,” Mr Kumar said then in an interview.

“Each of the new stores will cost us approximately Sh200 million to fit out and fully stock.

“We will also refurbish all the Ukwala stores to fit this new model and look.”

The Botswana-listed budget retailer has 10 stores in Kenya having taken over the latest Ukwala store in April this year.

The company had earlier said it is still operating below break-even in Kenya and its other new markets such as in Zambia and Mozambique.

Choppies has operations in seven African countries including South Africa and Zimbabwe with 217 stores.

Choppies chief executive Ramachandran Ottapathu was quoted saying early this week it plans to open 40 more stores in Africa by mid next year at a cost of about $29 million (Sh2.99 billion).