Naivas Mombasa branch increases count to 47 stores

Naivas Supermarket at Nyali in Mombasa.
Naivas Supermarket at Nyali in Mombasa. The retailer is set to open a new outlet at Mwembe Tayari Mall. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Retail Chain Naivas is set to open a new outlet at Mwembe Tayari Mall in Mombasa as it continues to defy the trend in a sector where debt-ridden operators have closed tens of stores.

The branch will be located on the second floor of the mall, just next to Mwembe Tayari Bus Park on Kenyatta Avenue. It is scheduled to start operations by end of September, bringing to four the number of Naivas outlets at the coast and 47 in total.

The family-owned retail chain currently has three branches located in Bamburi, Nyali and Ukunda.

“It will be our first store on Mombasa Island. It will be up and running in the next two months,” said Naiva’s chief operating officer Willy Kimani in an interview.

“We usually spend about Sh50 million when putting up a new store. Our budget for this store is not very far from that figure,” he said.

The outlet, he said, will occupy 27,000 square feet and employ about 170 locals.

It will stock fresh vegetables and fast-moving goods such as beverages, electronics and packed foods.

“We will not however stock furniture at the store. Our focus is fast moving consumer goods.”

The retail chain’s expansion comes as a positive development in a sector that has in recent months seen a host of retail chains close shop due to a mounting debt distress.

Nakumatt, until a few months ago the country’s biggest retailer, has been the worst hit.

The former retail giant in East Africa has been thrown out of its former spaces in Meru and Eldoret as well as Thika Road Mall, Junction, Garden City branches in Nairobi over non-payment of rent running into tens of millions of shillings.