Companies

Quickmart takes battle to Naivas with Machakos branch

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Quickmart store in Nakuru. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Quickmart Supermarket has opened a new branch in Machakos –its 50th across the country— as part of its ongoing expansion plan.

The outlet will on Friday open the outlet at Machakos Wote road, opposite Machakos Level 5 hospital, targeting hundreds of shoppers around the region and stepping up competition for customers with retailers such as Naivas that also operate in the area.

The new store will be Quickmart’s first in the Eastern Kenya region and the 50th outlet countrywide.

“Situated at the heart of Machakos, the pioneer branch will also mark an entry of the supermarket's chain of stores into the Eastern region expanding its presence to 14 counties across Kenya,” the retailer said in a statement.

“The launch of the stores will greatly promote the local farmers and other suppliers since the chain of stores sources for its fresh produce and most of the other products locally.”

The expansion is part of a new generation of retailers seeking to fill the void left by the collapse of former giants Nakumatt Holdings and Tuskys.

Nakumatt went into administration in 2018 after it was unable to pay billions of shillings owed to suppliers, banks, and debt investors.

Tuskys followed suit, losing nearly all its stores after defaulting on suppliers and other creditors. The troubles at Nakumatt and Tuskys have seen the government move to regulate the sector more strictly, with a focus on protecting suppliers who lose the most when retailers fail.

The reforms have been spearheaded by the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK).

Quickmart said the new branch will also create new jobs. The retailer, which was established in Nakuru in 2006, so far has stores spread out across 14 counties including Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado, Nakuru, Laikipia, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Kisumu, Kisii, Kilifi, and Mombasa.

Quickmart, Carrefour, and Naivas are among the retailers currently expanding across the country.

Naivas has stepped up its expansion drive after receiving Sh6 billion from a consortium of investors for a 30 percent stake.

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