Uchumi opens two units in Dar es Salaam

Uchumi Supermarkets will open two retail stores in Tanzania as it seeks a wider presence in the region to cut reliance on Kenya.

Uchumi CEO Jonathan Ciano says the two branches will strengthen the retailers hand in Tanzania where it has a single unit.

“The first new branch in Dar es Salaam will be opened Monday next week while the other one will be opened in April,’’ Mr Ciano told the Business Daily Tuesday in a telephone interview.

The supermarket plans to open 13 new stores this year as it prepares for a cash call and a cross listing of its shares in the region. It is east Africa’s sole listed retailer.

The company, which already operates some stores in neighbouring Uganda and Tanzania, will use the rights issue to pay for expansion in its existing markets and open its first supermarkets in Rwanda and South Sudan.

The contribution to sales of the Tanzania and Uganda subsidiaries stood at 14.5 per cent in June.

The retailer’s expansion drive comes at a time when its rival Nakumatt is almost closing a deal to buy three Tanzanian outlets of South African retail chain Shoprite.