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Naivas Farm Fresh on Kiambu Rd transforming ‘soko’ experience

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 25 – Naivas Supermarket has opened a new store along Kiambu road that has dedicated 40 percent of the space to fresh farm produce and a ready to eat section.

Located at the newly opened Ciata Shopping centre, and directly opposite Nakumatt Ridgeways, Naivas Farm Fresh aims to meet the daily needs of Kiambu road residents.

Naivas Chief Operating Officer Willy Kimani says the concept came as a result of focus group interaction with customers who said they want fresh and affordable products for daily consumption at a convenient location.

“Our customers also said they want to buy meat and also get a taste of what is on offer, and that’s why we create a choma zone,” said Kimani.

The opening of Naivas Fresh Farm comes amid a challenging operating environment for retailers which have seen some top tier supermarkets close branches and workers salaries delayed.

Kimani says consumption has slumped because of the interest rate capping, and although Naivas has shown resilience, the sector as a whole has underperformed.

While analysts have blamed the sector’s woes to the rapid, seemingly haphazard expansion, Kimani says expansion is necessary for growth.

“The key issue is how you fund this growth. You have to project a new store three years in advance and have your projections right. Location is also very important…you notice we are on the left side of the road as people are going home from work,” Kimani adds.

Loss of inventory as a result of paper loss, collusion or shoplifting contributes to 2 – 2.5 percent of total revenue, Kimani says.

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