Family-owned retail chain Quick Mart to open two branches

A customer shops at a supermarket in Nairobi. PHOTO | Salaton njau | NMG
A customer shops at a supermarket in Nairobi. PHOTO | Salaton njau | NMG 

Family-owned Quick Mart Supermarkets is set to open two new outlets in Nairobi over the next week, bucking the trend in the retail sector that is currently showing signs of financial strain.

The supermarket chain, which was started in Nakuru in 2006, will open a new store in Waithaka (on Kikuyu Road) on Thursday and another along the Eastern Bypass opposite Kamakis next week.

These two new stores will grow the upcoming retailer’s total outlets to eight, adding to the two in Nakuru, and one each in Kahawa Sukari, Ruaka, Ruai and another at Thindigua on Kiambu Road.

“Waithaka is a growing area benefiting highly from its proximity to both Nairobi and Kikuyu town,” said Betty Wamaitha, Quick Mart head of marketing. “It is a densely populated area with the store’s footprint extending to Satellite, Kawangware, Dagoretti and up to Kikuyu town.

Quick Mart was started in Nakuru by the late John Kinuthia, a businessman from the town, who died last year.

The supermarket chain, which is now being run by his family under the guidance of his son Duncan Kinuthia as its managing director, opened its first Nairobi branch in 2010 in Ruai.

Quick Mart’s expansion in Nairobi is a positive development in a sector that has in recent months been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.

Nakumatt Supermarkets is fighting court bid by its creditors to liquidate the business even as landlords continue evicting the business due to rent arrears.

The retailer has closed several poorly performing branches as part of cost-cutting measures.

Uchumi #ticker:UCHM is similarly in a tight spot and is banking on the entry of an investor and government funding to keep afloat.

Tuskys, which is seeking to merge with troubled Nakumatt, has also closed a few branches due to rent rows with the landlords and poor performance.