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Supermarkets tighten grip on the City

Retail stores are engaged in a vicious expansion war  amid scarcity of space.

As the customer base swells, retailers are fast moving to grab any opportunity to open new branches in a bid to stay in the competition.

The latest entrant in the city streets is East Matt Supermarkets which plans to open its seventh branch near the Fire Station on Tom Mboya Street where the Tuskys Daima closed shop over an alleged lease dispute.

After losing the Daima branch, Tuskys bought three city branches that belonged to Ukwala Supermarket.

Battle

Perhaps incidentally, all the top battling supermarkets—including Nakumatt, the largest—with the exception of Uchumi, originated from Nakuru County.

According to Willy Kimani, Naivas Supermarket marketing manager, plans are in top gear to open branches in Syokimau, Nyeri and Kisumu by April.

Uchumi also plans to open Syokimau, Maua and Juja branches in the course of this month.

“Additionally we plan to open a branch in Ukunda in two months and hold a ground breaking ceremony for the Nyeri town branch this month,” said Uchumi chief executive Jonathan Ciano on phone.

As Kenya marked its 50th anniversary, Nakumatt opened its latest branch in Lavington at the Lavington Curve Mall.

The retailer is set to take over three stores in Tanzania belonging to South Africa’s Shoprite in six months. It also plans to open another branch once the Garden City Mall project on Thika Road is complete.

Construction of shopping malls has greatly influenced the ballooning of supermarkets by giving the retail stores an opportunity to penetrate and open new branches.