NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 10 – Retail chain Nakumatt Holdings has announced that it will enter the convenience stores (C-Stores) market before the end of this week.
The chain’s Operations Director Mr Thiagarajan Ramamurthy said the firm would unveil the C-Stores branded Nakumatt Express in select locations.
“We will start pilot outlets across Nairobi suburbs and estates. As part of our corporate expansion strategy, we are now entering the convenience store market segment which we hope will continue to deliver value for our customers,” he explained.
The first Nakumatt Express C-Store will be officially opened on Friday at Kahawa Wendani estate in a move that Mr Ramamurthy described as a wider commitment to move Nakumatt services closer to the people.
The introduction of the new store formats which are smaller than supermarkets, the director said, would serve to complement the existing Nakumatt Supermarket and Hypermarket retail store formats.
Mr Ramamurthy pointed out that the demand for formal retail options was growing by the day and that they were focusing their corporate development goals on meeting this demand through innovative avenues.
Globally, retail chains feature convenience stores which are smaller sized supermarkets in city suburbs and residential estates stocking groceries.
According to a recent global research study by market research data and study house, Research and Markets, hypermarkets remain the fastest growing retail format followed by convenience stores.
The report titled: Convenience Stores Market – Worldwide (2005-2008) points out that the Asia-Pacific region remains the fastest growing convenience stores market in the world.
The report attributes economic growth, technological advancements, rising income levels, changing consumer preferences and convenience as the major market forces for the conveniences store industry.
The opening up of the C-stores comes a day after the chain extended the 24-hour shopping service to its hypermarket on Uhuru Highway in Nairobi.
This followed the success of similar services at their other six branches.