KENYA – Kenyan retailer, QuickMart Supermarket has opened its first outlet in the heart of Nairobi’s central business district (CBD), heating up the competition in Kenya’s retail sector.  

Quickmart has taken up the space previously occupied by Botswana-based Choppies supermarket, which plans to exit the Kenyan market following a cash flow hitch.

“This store allows us to be part of the action in the heart of Nairobi being our first store in the CBD,” said Betty Wamaitha, QuickMart head of marketing.

The retailer has more than doubled its outlet count to 29 stores after it merged with Tumaini Supermarket following Mauritius-based private equity firm Adenia Partners concluding a deal to acquire majority stake at Quickmart through its special purpose vehicle Sokoni Retail Kenya at an undisclosed amount.

Sokoni Retail Kenya holds the controlling stake in Tumaini Self Service since 2018.

Prior to the merger Quick Mart Supermarkets had 11 branches operating in Nairobi, Nakuru and Kiambu counties while Tumaini had 13 branches in Nairobi, Kisumu and Kajiado counties.

Competition in Kenya’s retail sector is accelerating with various retailers making plans of expansion.

Dubai-based conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim (MAF) has obtained a sh.3 billion (US$28.3m) loan facility from South Africa’s Standard Bank Group to finance expansion of its Carrefour franchise in Kenya targeting to open 6 new outlets by end of 2020.

Retail chain Naivas supermarkets has bagged US$15 million for the sale of its minority stake to IFC, a member of the World Bank Group alongside French private equity fund Amethis Finance, DEG and MCB Equity Fund.

The new capital injection is earmarked for expansion in the highly competitive local supermarket business that has attracted major players across the globe.

With the new development Naivas supermarkets has diversified to selling alcohol to grow its revenue, breaking a decades-old business practice that gave its rivals a competitive advantage.