Companies

Nakumatt to open smaller outlet on Uhuru Highway

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The former Nakumatt Mega Supermarket. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA

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Summary

  • Nakumatt Mega closed shop after the retailer’s lease agreement expired on September 30 after 26 years of tenancy period at the property.
  • The Mega branch was the retailer’s most profitable branch in terms of sales and the closure dealt it a major blow.
  • The retailer is now preparing to re-open a smaller branch next door.

Struggling retailer Nakumatt Holdings is set to open a smaller outlet adjacent to the recently closed Mega branch in November, weeks after vacating its former expansive space on Uhuru Highway.

Nakumatt Mega closed shop after the retailer’s lease agreement expired on September 30 after 26 years of tenancy period at the property.

The Mega branch was the retailer’s most profitable branch in terms of sales and the closure dealt it a major blow. The retailer is now preparing to re-open a smaller branch next door.

“Nakumatt was already operating in that space prior to the administration and had given up the location but with the lease at Mega having expired we have decided to move back there the same way we did for Highridge (after the closure of the Ukay branch),” said the retail chain’s administrator, Peter Kahi.

Nakumatt exited Mombasa early in August after the closure of its Likoni branch, the last remaining store at the coast. In March, the supermarket was also thrown out of the upmarket Nyali City Mall premises in Mombasa after it accumulated Sh27.8 million in rent arrears.

In July, it surrendered seven branches in a rescue plan that is not dependent on any external capital injection or bank borrowing to succeed.

The seven branches were Nakumatt Galleria, Garden City, Kakamega, Eldoret Household, Ridgeways, Karen Crossroads and Cinemax (Mombasa).

Branches currently operational include Nakumatt Prestige, Highridge, Lavington, Embakasi, Nakuru and Kisumu.

At its peak, Nakumatt was the largest regional supermarket with 64 stores in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda before a rapid financial meltdown under the weight of debts.