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Naivas moves for Nakumatt clients at rival’s vacated space

Shoppers at Naivas Supermarket branch at Ciata City Mall on Kiambu Road. The chain opened a store in South C over the weekend. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Shoppers at Naivas Supermarket branch at Ciata City Mall on Kiambu Road. The chain opened a store in South C over the weekend. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Naivas Supermarkets opened a new outlet in Nairobi’s South C estate last Saturday, taking over space recently vacated by its financially-strapped rival Nakumatt.

The new outlet, which is 30,000 square feet in size, grows Naivas’ store count to 43 nationally and continues the retailer’s against-the-grain expansion drive given the shaky state of some players.

Naivas, a family-owned business, says the new store is strategically located to serve the residents of estates such as Mugoya, KMA and Akila and their environs, whom it describes as “underserved.

“South C is a closed community of sorts. At the moment, they do not have a neighbourhood store that can serve their shopping needs,” Willy Kimani, Naivas’ chief operating officer, told the Business Daily in an interview.

The South C store brings Naivas’ new store openings this year to six in and   expansion that bucks the trend in the country’s financially strained retail sector.

Nakumatt, once the region’s leading retail chain, as well as Uchumi have had a tough year, marked with stockouts, branch closures and billions of shillings in debts.

Some retailers like Naivas and Quick Mart are seemingly immune to this pressure. Last week, Naivas opened a new store on Nairobi’s Moi Avenue, taking up space that until recently housed a Barclays Bank of Kenya branch.

Quick Mart, an 11-year-old family-owned business, recently opened two new stores — Waithaka and on the Eastern Bypass opposite Kamakis — bringing its total store count to eight.

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