Counties

QuickMart to open four stores in market race against rival Naivas

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Quickmart Supermarket branch on Waiyaki Way, Nairobi. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU

Summary

  • The first will be at Chania Mall on Kenyatta Road in Thika town, a space that was previously occupied by Tuskys.
  • The second will be situated at OTC within the Central Business District in Nairobi while the third will be at Mtwapa Mall in Kilifi.
  • The final store will be located in Kitale town in Trans Nzoia.

QuickMart Supermarket is set to open four more stores in Kiambu, Nairobi, Kilifi and Trans Nzoia counties in the next one and a half month making it the biggest beneficiary of the troubles facing the retail sector in Kenya.

The first will be at Chania Mall on Kenyatta Road in Thika town, a space that was previously occupied by Tuskys.

The second will be situated at OTC within the Central Business District in Nairobi while the third will be at Mtwapa Mall in Kilifi. The final store will be located in Kitale town in Trans Nzoia.

The upcoming stores will raise the retailer’s branch network across the country to 45 as it races to catch up with top retailer Naivas which plans to open three more outlets in the next few weeks across the country.

“QuickMart remains focused on its fresh concept allocating up to 30 -40 per cent of the floor space to its fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh foods from its deli, bakery and the butchery and this will be rolled out in the new locations,” the retail chain’s marketing director Betty Wamaitha told the Business Daily in an interview yesterday.

The Thika branch comes a few months after Tuskys ceased operations at the outlet on dwindling cash flows.

QuickMart gained a bigger financial muscle after Sokoni Retail Kenya acquired a controlling stake in the retailer and merged operations with its outfit Tumaini Self Service to form a single operation under the QuickMart brand.

The expansion by QuickMart comes at a time Tuskys Supermarkets is facing serious cash flow hitch that has sparked a dispute with suppliers due to unsettled debts.

Tuskys, until recently Kenya’s top retailer with 53 stores, has less than 10 outlets operating amid stock-outs.

The retailer is seeking to sell a majority stake to a consortium made up of a private equity firm and an undisclosed foreign retailer as part of efforts to raise cash to pay suppliers and win back their confidence.

The retail industry has in the past seen an entry of new international players like Carrefour raising competition that partly resulted in the collapse of Nakumatt and Uchumi supermarkets.

As a result, retailers like Naivas Supermarkets have sought additional capital to scale up operations in a highly competitive market.

Naivas signed an agreement with French equity fund Amethis Fund to sell 30 percent stake to its expansion.