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Kenya

Uchumi Supermarket to close Capital Centre Mall, Thika Road branches

The announcement comes weeks after Uchumi began restocking its branches signaling the start of an Uchumi retail development strategy, investment and turnaround plan/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 25 – Uchumi Supermarket is set to close the Capital Centre Mall branch and Jipange branch along Thika Road from next month as it seeks other viable and more strategic locations in the same localities.

Chief Operating Officer Andrew Dixon says these branches do not meet the company’s strategic template.

He says the decision is in response to recent trends of the ever-changing Kenyan retail space, which has seen stores diversifying from traditional models.

Dixon adds that Uchumi has identified new sites and is pursuing possible partnerships with landlords.

“Uchumi is adopting a store strategy that will yield more profitable operations and therefore will be relocating from some of its branches that do not fit within the financial template,” Dixon noted.

The firm is also in the process of identifying Land Agents who will support Uchumi identify strategic and cost-efficient locations.

“Our move is a consumer and market informed decision that we have incorporated into our strategy to restore Uchumi back to profitability. Uchumi is proactively looking at all types of retail space that make the most business sense and give our customers what they need in the most price friendly way possible and at the best value,” he added.

The announcement comes weeks after Uchumi began restocking its branches signaling the start of an Uchumi retail development strategy, investment and turnaround plan.

The restocking was made possible after the government released Sh700 million out of a Sh1.2 billion bailout loan by the state to revive Uchumi’s Kenya operations.

Acting Chief Executive Ahmed Mohammed says this is the beginning of a new chapter for the retailer as it seeks to get back to profitability.

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The government had committed to pump Sh1.8 billion in Uchumi of which Sh1.2 billion was for Kenya operations while Sh600 million was for other operations in Uganda and Tanzania.

Another Sh3.5 billion is set to be brought in by a strategic investor by January 2018.

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