KENYA – More job losses are looming at troubled supermarket chain Nakumatt after the retailer shut down a further two branches.

The retailer, whose operations have come under strain due to its huge debt, has closed its Bungoma and Busia branches in Western Kenya.

A check at the two branches showed they remained shut Monday.

The retailer’s managing director Atul Shah did not explain the closures when reached for comment but promised to issue a statement on the matter this week.

Nakumatt has over the past one year shut down a number of non-performing outlets in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania as the family-owned retailer battles hefty financial obligations.

The troubled retailer’s Milimani City store in Dar es Salaam was last Monday closed after failing to comply with contractual requirements, including failure to pay rent.

It was last week forced out of Junction Mall in Nairobi over huge debts but it has gone back to court to fight for its tenancy at the upmarket shopping complex.

In July, Nakumatt shut down three branches in Uganda, citing financial restructuring.

Locally, the retailer has also closed outlets including its Bamburi Branch in Mombasa; Lunga Lunga in Nairobi; Thika Road Mall along Thika Road, Next Gen on Mombasa Road and Westgate in Westlands, Nairobi.

Nakumatt is yet to provide a tally of the job losses so far.

The company in May announced plans to close its poorly performing branches in Kenya and Uganda as part of cost-cutting measures aimed at saving the retailer Sh1.5 billion annually.

The first store to be shut down in May was the Haile Selassie Branch located at the Kenyatta University Plaza, Nairobi.

Merger talks with rival Tuskys are seen as offering light at the end of the tunnel since the two retailers have written to the competition authority on their intentions.

Business Daily