Naivas to open two new outlets in Malindi and Nairobi this week


A Naivas store in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Naivas Supermarket is set to open three branches this month as it acquires space in outlets vacated by struggling retailers in the race to cement its market leadership.

The first outlet will be opened tomorrow (Thursday) at Oasis Mall in Malindi in a store previously occupied by fallen Nakumatt.

On Friday it will open another outlet in Embakasi off Airport North Road, taking space vacated by the cash-strapped Tuskys supermarket.

Ahead of Christmas, it will launch an outlet at Greenspan Mall in Donholm Nairobi, where Tuskys Supermarket was the anchor tenant until it was kicked out by the landlord after it was unable to honour its tenancy agreement as its financial health deteriorated.

Naivas has stepped up its expansion drive after receiving Sh6 billion from a consortium of investors that includes the International Finance Corporation (IFC), private equity firms Amethis and MCB Equity Fund and German sovereign wealth fund DEG for a 30 percent stake.

“We are elated that our store openings have been greatly enhanced through the support of our stakeholders and investors who have strengthened and improved corporate governance, increased accountability and professionalism within the business,” Naivas chief commercial officer Willy Kimani said in a statement on Tuesday.

“We are excited that this double store opening comes just in time for the kick-off of the Kenyan festive period traditionally marked by Jamhuri Day.”

The new stores are expected to raise the retailer’s branch network to 80, up from 26 in 2013 in a growth that reflects the health of Naivas—which over the period has grown to be Kenya’s top retailer from position four.

Its rise emerges in a competitive market that has seen two major supermarket chains collapse in recent years including Nakumatt, while Carrefour franchisee Majid al Futtaim has entered the market and grown into Kenya’s second-biggest retailer in just five years.

South African retail giant Massmart that operates the Game Stores has revealed its plan to sell its three stores in Kenya, joining Shoprite Holdings that quit Kenya in less than two years after entering it.