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Nakumatt acquires Woolmatt in Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 11- Thousands of Nairobi shoppers on Thursday thronged the Woolmatt Wabera Street supermarket to take advantage of a 25 percent clearance sale.

The two-day sale is a culmination of the conclusion of a deal which has seen Nakumatt Holdings acquire all the four Woolmatt branches within the Central Business District at a cost of Sh400 million.

Some shoppers told Capital Business that they’d queued outside the retail chain for hours waiting to gain access to the supermarket which will now be known as Nakumatt City Hall.

“I’ve been here for three hours. People are buying things in bulk and so someone has to queue for a long period to pay for the goods that you’ve bought,” said one customer.

Some shoppers learnt of the sale from posters that were near the shop and from an advertisement that had been placed by Nakumatt in the local dailies.

“I was just passing by when I found people gathered outside here and joined them. I have used all the money that I had in the pocket because once you get inside (the shop) its difficult to get out for more money,” another one said.

A Nakumatt employee said there’s a high demand for commodities such as food stuffs and electronics some of which have already gone out of stock.

“We opened the shop at 8am but by 10am, there were more people than we could deal with. Now, we are only allowing them to enter in groups. Things like sugar and flours are finished,” the staff said.

After the discounted sale, the four branches will be closed for renovations with the view to re-opening them in May.

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In a statement, Nakumatt Holdings Managing Director Atul Shah said the takeover would enhance their presence within the CBD.

He said the acquisition had been undertaken as part of the firm’s national expansion plans which earlier on in the week saw the chain open four more branches in Diani, Nanyuki, Kakamega and Eldoret respectively.

“Alongside our ongoing branch openings such as here in Kakamega, Nanyuki and Diani, I am happy to confirm that we have also acquired Woolmatt branches in Nairobi as part of a move to enhance our CBD presence,” Mr Shah said.

He said the implementation of these plans would enable them to attain their 2010 targets which will bring the branch network to 25.

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