French retail giant Carrefour is seeking greater protection from competition by local supermarket chains who it wants kept out of its flagship Two Rivers Mall outlet.
In a fresh application submitted to the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK), jointly with the mall owners, Carrefour wants rights for exclusive occupancy at the shopping complex touted to be the biggest in Kenya on completion, over a lease period of seven years. Besides, Carrefour also wants other businesses including butcheries, green grocers and fruit vendors to be locked out of Two Rivers.
The application, if approved, would keep at bay other Kenyan supermarket chains and retailers that may be eyeing space for the above business lines in the high-end shopping complex.
Two Rivers Mall sits on 11 of an 102-acre property situated on Limuru Road, in close proximity to the affluent neighbourhoods of Runda, Nyari, Gigiri and Muthaiga. By its sheer size and location, Two Rivers is expected to generate considerable business — putting Carrefour in a firm position to compete with Kenya’s more established retail brands.
The French group’s application to the CAK also effectively frees Carrefour from a previous agreement barring it from opening another branch within five kilometres from Two Rivers. “…the parties propose that the lessor shall not lease any part of the Centre to any hypermarket, supermarket, butcheries, green grocers or fruit or vegetable stores or permit the expansion of the leased premises without the written consent of the lessee,” said CAK director-general Wang’ombe Kariuki in a gazette notice published on Friday quoting the agreement between the two parties.
The Two Rivers Mall covers an area of 1.2 million square feet — excluding parking space for 3,000 vehicles — and will have 220 shops.
Centum chief executive James Mworia said the lease application by Carrefour only relates to new businesses and excludes existing players at the mall.