Shoppers doing Christmas shopping inside Nakumatt Supermarket at Thika Road Mall in December 2016. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTEShoppers inside one of the numerous branches of Nakumatt Supermarket, Kenya’s largest retail chain. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE
By EVELYNE MUSAMBI

Nakumatt Supermarkets has blamed the empty shelves to a new warehouse management system that has been encountering hitches leading to delays in replenishing stocks.

Photos of empty shelves at Nakumatt Junction and Embakasi branches have been widely shared online prompting Nairobi News to seek an explanation from the management.

“The stock outs you allude to are inadvertent, affecting specific branches largely due to supply chain constraints as the new Warehouse Management System (WMS) stabilises. The system features an auto replenish system connected to our central warehouse. In some instances, the auto replenish system has faced some challenges, occasioning supply delays as we resort to manual orders. We are however working round the clock to address any challenges,” read a statement from the supermarkets chain.

Asked if there was a closure of branches in the offing, Nakumatt stated that it was reviewing its business plan and will communicate any changes.

“As part of the ongoing business restructuring programme, we are reviewing the current business plan and will announce any changes in due course,” stated Nakumatt.

The supermarkets chain had in its most recent press statement alluded to having cash flow issues that had slowed down operations in some of its branches.

When asked if the crisis had been resolved it stated, “Like many other local businesses, we continue to experience what we consider to be a manageable cash flow challenge. The same cannot be described as a crisis as daily operations are still at an optimum level. However, the depressed economic conditions necessitate prudent cash flow management.”