QuickMart stiffens competition in Kenya’s retail market plans to open four new stores

KENYA – QuickMart, Kenyan retailer and majority owned by Mauritius-based private equity firm Adenia Partners, is set to open four more stores in the country in the next one and a half months taking over the spaces vacated by the struggling Tusky’s supermarket.

The first outlet will be at Chania Mall on Kenyatta Road in Thika town, the second will be situated at OTC within the Central Business District in Nairobi while the third will be at Mtwapa Mall in Kilifi. The final store will be located in Kitale town in Trans Nzoia county.

The upcoming stores will raise the retailer’s branch network across the country to 45 as it races to catch up with top retailer Naivas which plans to open three more outlets in the next few weeks across the country.

“QuickMart remains focused on its fresh concept allocating up to 30 -40 per cent of the floor space to its fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh foods from its deli, bakery and the butchery and this will be rolled out in the new locations,” the retail chain’s marketing director Betty Wamaitha told the Business Daily in an interview.

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QuickMart gained a bigger financial muscle after Sokoni Retail Kenya acquired a controlling stake in the retailer and merged operations with its outfit Tumaini Self Service to form a single operation under the QuickMart brand.

“QuickMart remains focused on its fresh concept allocating up to 30 -40 per cent of the floor space to its fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh foods from its deli, bakery and the butchery and this will be rolled out in the new locations.”

QuickMart Marketing Director – Betty Wamaitha

The expansion by QuickMart comes at a time Tuskys Supermarkets is facing serious cash flow hitch that has sparked a dispute with suppliers due to unsettled debts.

Tuskys, which was once Kenya’s top retailer with 53 stores, has less than 10 outlets operating amid stock-outs.

The retailer is seeking to sell a majority stake to a consortium made up of a private equity firm and an undisclosed foreign retailer as part of efforts to raise cash to pay suppliers and win back their confidence.

The retail industry has in the past seen an entry of new international players like Carrefour raising competition that partly resulted in the collapse of Nakumatt and Uchumi supermarkets.

As a result, retailers like Naivas Supermarkets have sought additional capital to scale up operations in a highly competitive market.

Naivas signed an agreement with French equity fund Amethis Fund to sell 30 percent stake to its expansion.

Foreign retailer Carrefour is also gearing up momentum to expand in the local market, recently opening doors to its 13th outlets at the Garden City mall, taking over the space occupied by exited South Africa retailer Shoprite.

The supermarket chain owner has also availed flexible and convenience shopping services such as Click and Collect and its MAF Carrefour App to its customers.

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