Naivas Supermarket is set to open a new outlet in Naivasha, as it continues to buck the trend in the sector where operators have reported mounting debt distress.
The family-owned retail chain said it will be a 24-hour outlet – bringing the its all-day operational store count to four – to be situated just before the junction heading to Keroche Breweries on the busy Naivasha, Nairobi highway.
It will start operations by June bringing to three the number of Naivas outlets in the town.
The chain opened its third 24-hour store in Nairobi’s central business district last month, two days ahead of schedule in a rush to cash in on the Christmas shopping season.
“Naivasha is where we came from and we have served that market for a while. We are actually going to tap both travellers and residents,” said Naiva’s chief operating officer Willy Kimani in an interview.
“Our normal stores usually cost Sh70 million. For this, we are going to spend about three quarter of that in putting it up.”
The store, he said, will provide employment to about 370 locals.
Naivas’ expansion comes as a positive development in a sector that has in recent months been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.
Nakumatt, the country’s leading retailer, has been the worst hit.
The former giant was on Tuesday thrown out of its space at Nanyuki Mall over non-payment of rent areas running into tens of millions of shillings.
Nakumatt has also been shown the door in Meru and Eldoret as well as the retailer’s Lifestyle, Thika Road Mall and Garden City branches in Nairobi, casting the future of the business in doubt.
Nakumatt is struggling under the weight of massive debt that is estimated to stand at between Sh30 billion and Sh40 billion.