South Africa’s retail chain, Shoprite Holdings, plans to take advantage of disarray in Kenya’s grocery sector to open its first stores in the major East African market this year.
Two of Kenya’s three top retailers – Uchumi Supermarkets and former regional giant, Nakumatt – are failing, opening the door to chains such as Shoprite and Carrefour.
Shoprite Chief executive, Pieter Engelbrecht, said they had never considered the Kenyan market before because of the dominance of those three players. He said six of its seven new stores will be in Nairobi.
“Retail in Kenya currently is in total disarray… we could now go in and secure seven premises without paying anything other than agreed rental,” he told Reuters news agency.
Shoprite, which is 17% owned by retail tycoon Christo Wiese, has grown from eight supermarkets in 1979 to a no-frills mass-market grocer with operations in 15 African countries including two stores in Uganda.