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Kenya

We need more time, Uchumi boss tells creditors

The Supermarket chain has closed over two dozen branches due to rent arrears and low stock volumes,/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 24 – Uchumi Supermarkets has asked suppliers and partners to be patient as it pursues its turnaround strategy.

Chief Executive Mohammed Mohammed says the recovery plan, which includes franchising model, digital strategies as well as the sale of assets, have begun bearing tangible results.

“Uchumi Supermarkets is well aware of its obligations towards its suppliers, employees and other stakeholders and we are currently engaging all these groups on the progress we are making,” he added.

The statement comes after Githunguri Dairy Co-operative Society moved to court last week to wind up the retail chain to recover money owed by Uchumi.

“While we cannot comment on the merits and demerits of the case as it is now a legal matter, we wish to categorically state that Uchumi Supermarkets has initiated plans to revive the business. We urge all our stakeholders to bear with us as we pursue the aforementioned turn around strategies,” he added.

Uchumi announced plans to pilot the Franchise Business Model at the Nairobi West Branch as it seeks to bounce back to profitability.

The retail chain called for expression of interest to franchise the branch in Nairobi West.

“Successful candidates shall be required to demonstrate financial resources in the high hundreds of millions of shillings,” the firm said.

This is the second branch that the retailer has converted to a franchise model having already advertised uptake of the Uchumi Langata hyper branch.

The franchising model is aimed at offering private and mostly small supermarkets the opportunity to trade under its brand name.

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The Supermarket chain has closed over two dozen branches due to rent arrears and low stock volumes,

The company had a negative capital position of Sh4.68 billion as at the end of April 2018.

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