Car & General (Kenya) #ticker:C&G has completed signing a lease deal for the refurbished Nairobi Mega property on Uhuru Highway, paving the way for French retailer Carrefour to open its store in June.
The automobile dealer in its half-year financial report disclosed that Carrefour will be the anchor tenant at the property that has now been fully leased.
The retailer had scheduled opening of the branch for March, but had to postpone due to the delayed refurbishment blamed on coronavirus disruptions.
“We have completed the refurbishment of Nairobi Mega (formerly Nakumatt Mega), which comprises 170,000 square feet including car parking. Carrefour will be the anchor tenant and expect to open in June,” Car & General said in the report.
The automobiles dealer’s half-year profits rose to Sh164.76 million in the six months to March from Sh51.29 million in similar period last year driven by increased sales for its two-wheelers locally and in neighboring Tanzania.
Leasing of the property to Carrefour signals the move by the automobiles dealer to diversify its business at a time coronavirus pandemic is expected to hurt its revenues.
Car & General deals in importation and sale of marine engines, motorcycles and three-wheeler vehicles, and commercial engines. The firm is also rearing broiler chicken in neighbouring Tanzania.
It added that it will in the six months to September focus on controlling costs, preserving cash and consolidating its working capital to ease effects of the pandemic.
Car & General is now betting on Carrefour’s tenancy to increase its profits at a time decline in demand and restrictions on movements to curb spread of the coronavirus have hit its poultry business in Tanzania.
The new branch will be Carrefour’s eighth in the country as the retailer seeks increased share of the local retail market following the exits of the once-dominant Nakumatt and Uchumi.
The fall of the two retailers created a void that has now seen Naivas, Tuskys and Quickmart scramble to fill amid increasing competition from multinational chain stores like Game and Shoprite.