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Naivas steps up expansion with more Malindi, Nairobi outlets

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Naivas Supermarket chief commercial officer Willy Kimani. PHOTO | FILE | NMG

Naivas Supermarket is set to take over more outlets from its struggling rivals before the end of the year as it steps up its aggressive expansion.

The first outlet will be 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.

The second will be opened at Malindi Mall, in a space previously occupied by collapsed Nakumatt Supermarket. The retailer is targeting hundreds of shoppers around the region.

The retailer’s third store will be in Embakasi at a location that the retailer is yet to disclose.

The three branches come as Naivas races to defend its market leadership against its closest rival QuickMart that has been expanding in the past few months.

“Other stores lined up for opening before the close of the year are Malindi, Greenspan and Embakasi,” Naivas chief commercial officer Willy Kimani said in a statement yesterday.

The new stores are expected to raise the retailer’s branch network to 80. Naivas opened its 77th branch at Aga Khan Walk, Nairobi in space vacated by troubled Uchumi yesterday.

It has over the past few months been on an aggressive expansion spree, taking up prime space and also new strategic locations.

It gained financial muscle to fire the growth after signing an agreement with France-based private equity fund Amethis Finance to sell a 30 percent stake last year.

Besides the three stores, Naivas also has a branch in Kisumu at Simba Club Hall next to United Mall targeting hundreds of shoppers in the region.

The Kisumu branch came barely a few months after Tuskys ceased operations at the outlet on dwindling cash flow.

QuickMart, which had 45 stores as of May, plans to open a few more in the coming weeks.

The two retailers have been spending heavily on expansion to fill voids the collapsed and beleaguered supermarkets left.

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

The collapse of former retail giant Nakumatt also left scores of prime locations that Naivas and Carrefour have taken over.

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