Naivas to open three more stores in expansion blitz


Naivas supermarket outlet along Muindi Mbingu Street in Nairobi. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG

Naivas Supermarket is set to open three more stores in the next few weeks as it steps up its expansion drive and battle for market share growth against its closest rivals in the country.

The first outlet will be opened at Kiambu Mall on April 14 at a space that was previously occupied by troubled Botswana retailer Choppies Supermarket which exited the Kenyan market in 2019 after losses.

The second store will be opened on the same day at Safari Centre in Naivasha while the third store will be opened in Meru on a date that is yet to be identified by the retailer.

The upcoming stores will raise the retailer’s branch network across the country to 85 as its races to defend its market leadership against an aggressive QuickMart —which has opened three branches in the last two months.

“Kiambu and Naivasha branches will be opened on 14th of next month. Meru we shall advise,” Naivas chief commercial officer Willy Kimani told the Business Daily in an interview. He said the three outlets will offer packed food, fresh vegetables, and fast-moving consumer goods such as beverages.

The new stores will be coming up barely a few weeks after the retailer opened its 82nd store in Syokimau as it continues with its national expansion.

The retailer has been on an aggressive expansion spree in the last few months, taking up prime space vacated by rivals and also new strategic locations.

It gained financial muscle to fund the growth after raising Sh6 billion from institutional investors including Amethis Finance which took a 30 percent stake in the firm.

Besides the Syokimau store, Naivas also took over Greenspan Mall in Donholm Nairobi last month.

Naivas and its rivals QuickMart and Carrefour are among the retailers that are spending heavily to expand, seeking to fill voids left by collapsed and beleaguered supermarkets.

Tuskys, for instance, has been rapidly shutting stores over the past few weeks on the back of heavy debt and insufficient working capital.

The collapse of former retail giant Nakumatt Holdings also left scores of prime locations that Naivas and Carrefour have moved into. The supermarkets often serve as anchor tenants in properties such as malls, helping to drive traffic to other stores.

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