Kenyan retailers Quickmart, Chandarana expand footprint, get closer to customers

KENYA – Local Kenyan retailer, Quickmart Supermarket, majority owned by Mauritius-based private equity firm Adenia Partners, has opened a new branch in Kitengela, south of Nairobi, as part of its ongoing expansion plan.

The new outlet targets hundreds of shoppers around the region, in an area that’s currently served by retailers such as Naivas and Eastmatt.

This is Quickmart’s first store in the town and the 48th outlet countrywide, reports Business Daily.

“The store is located at OBC Kitengela Mall as you exit the main Kitengela town towards Namanga.

“The store will feature prominently our fresh sections; deli, bakery, butchery, fresh fruits, vegetables, foods, personal care, homecare, textiles, electronics and household goods,” said Quickmart’s Marketing Director Betty Wamaitha.

The expansion is part of a strategy by a new generation of retailers seeking to fill the void left by the collapse of former giants Nakumatt Holdings, Uchumi and Tuskys.

Meanwhile, Chandarana Food Plus has started to make in-roads into estates, opening 24th branch in Westlands.

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The firm’s marketing manager, Moses Njoroge, who spoke during the opening of the new branch, said in the next four months, the firm is also seeking to open three more branches.

“We chose this location because of the demographics, it’s convenient because it is located off Waiyaki highway and more in a residential area making it more accessible to residents. It offers unique variety which blends in with this area,” Njoroge said.

He further revealed that the firm has reported a huge jump in online sales with the percentage of traditional shopping vs online sales being 10 percent compared to the global 20 percent average.

“Since COVID-19 happened, we have reported high growth in online sales, we have partnered with third-party vendors and courier services who have helped drive online sales,” he told Capital Business.

Some of the challenges in online deliveries, however, he said included poor addressing of houses which slows down the delivery period of goods.

Also, majority of Kenyans are also not fully receptive to the service, especially vegetable and fruits shoppers.

“Poor Infrastructure in the country also leads to traffic jams which makes it hard for delivery access,” he added.

Njoroge said that the firm will continue to adopt a slow approach in expansion despite receiving a lot of offers from malls.

“We have a positive outlook this year, we are always open and receiving offers from many malls, existing and new ones. We are looking at those that suit our business model and our customers’ needs.” he said.

Late last year, the retailer extended its footprint in the country with opening of a new branch in Nakuru town.

The supermarket chain, which started as a small grocery shop in Nairobi, has rapidly grown to set base in other towns in the country i.e., Kisumu, Eldoret, Nanyuki, Kakamega, Nakuru and Mombasa.

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