French retail giant Carrefour has opened the search for top managers to run its local operations, signalling its imminent entry into Kenya after an initial announcement that it had booked space as an anchor tenant in two upcoming high-end shopping malls.
The supermarket chain has already appointed a country manager for Kenya ahead of opening its two stores planned for September.
The Paris-based retailer is recruiting a finance manager and an account manager who will report to Franck Moreau, Carrefour’s newly-appointed Kenya country manager.
The hiring of senior executives is a signal that Carrefour — ranked the world’s second largest supermarket chain after Wal-Mart Stores — is keen to open shop in Kenya where it has already booked space at the Two Rivers and The Hub Karen malls.
Mr Moreau has been tasked with setting up Carrefour’s retail stores in Kenya, establish the brand locally and take on rival supermarkets such as Nakumatt, Tuskys, Naivas, and Uchumi.
The two retail stores in Kenya will be operated by Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim Retail (MAF), the exclusive franchise holders for Carrefour in the Middle East and Africa.
“The successful candidate will review and challenge merchandise performance in terms of actual results and objectives: sales volumes, margins, supplier benefits, cash flow from operations,” reads the job description for the country finance manager for Kenya.
Carrefour said in a notice that applicants need to hold a Master’s degree in finance, business administration or commerce, backed by professional courses such as Certified Public Accountant.
The French supermarket is also seeking accounts managers for the Kenyan units, who will responsible for managing sales and relationships with key customers and suppliers.
“He/She will liaise with suppliers to resolve their complaints and litigations, perform the periodic closing process (monthly and yearly) strictly on the deadlines with accuracy,” said Carrefour said in a notice.
Mr Moreau, a Frenchman, has worked with MAF Carrefour since 2000 when he joined the retail chain as a departmental head.
Prior to his Kenya posting, Mr Moreau was the vice president in charge of development for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain.
He has previously been in charge of setting up pioneer Carrefour retail outlets in UAE and Kuwait, and has served as country manager in Gulf economies.
Carrefour is expected in September to open a 100,000-square feet store at Two Rivers, a shopping complex owned by Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm Centum. It has also booked 64,500 square feet of retail space at The Hub Karen expected to open at the end of September.
The retailer seeks to tap into Kenya’s growing ‘malling’ culture fuelled by a ballooning middle class who have disposable incomes to splurge.
Kenya’s low retail penetration rate — estimated at about 30 per cent — has whetted the appetite of multinational stores seeking to open shop in Nairobi and serve the largely untapped market characterised by neighbourhood shops and kiosks.
The French merchant had 10,860 stores in 34 countries as at December last year in Europe, Middle East, Asia, Russia, Latin America and Africa.