NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21 – Retail chain Uchumi Supermarkets has closed operations in five outlets within Kenya as part of its reorganisation process that will see about 253 workers lose their jobs.
The branches include Taj Mall, Embu, Eldoret Sugarland, Nakuru and Kisii to reduce the retailer’s operational costs enabling it to concentrate its efforts on a leaner structure as dictated by the current business environment.
This comes months after the firm closed of its operations in Tanzania and Uganda in a reorganisation exercise intended to stop financial haemorrhaging.
Uchumi’s Chief Executive Officer, Julius Kipng’etich, said that Uchumi is well on track to recovery and that the move is expected to hasten the retail chain’s rise to sustainability.
Kipng’etich says the closures will enable the firm channel its resources to fewer branches and optimize operations for maximum gain.
The firm plunged into a deeper loss which widened to Sh1.02 billion before tax in the six months that ended December 2015 from Sh262.35 million loss in a similar period in 2014.
The retailer which suffered stocking challenges due to previous non-payment of suppliers also recorded a dip in net sales from Sh6.82 billion to Sh4.26 billion.
Interim financial statements published by the firm also show the company’s loss from operating activities grew to Sh964.7 million from Sh202.36 million.
Uchumi which attributes its woes to mismanagement by the company’s previous bosses who were sacked last year saw its accumulated losses rise to Sh4.31 billion from Sh3.29 billion reported at end June 2015.
The company’s former CEO Jonathan Ciano was sacked last June together with Chief Finance Officer Chadwick Okumu and Human Resources Manager Michael Kibe.