French retail chain Carrefour to open outlet in Kampala

The operator will fill the gap created by the exit of Nakumatt and Uchumi

Kampala, Uganda | ISAAC KHISA | Competition among chain stores in Uganda is set to tighten with the coming of a new player, Carrefour from France.

Proprietors are planning to open two stores in Kampala soon, a move that is expected to cause some buzz in the less developed retail chain industry.

Ranked the world’s second-largest supermarket chain after Wal-Mart Stores, Carrefour will open its maiden outlets in Uganda at the Oasis Mall, located along Yusuf Lule Road, and another at Metroplex Mall in Naalya.

“Uganda will be Carrefour’s 16 th market (country) world-wide and second in East Africa,” the retail chain said on its Facebook page.

The company started operations in East Africa with the entry into the Kenyan market in 2016. It operates seven stores to date and employs slightly more than 1,400 staff.

Uganda currently has Shoprite, Game, Quality and Mega Supermarkets as big players in the industry.

Aeko Ongodia , a renowned Chartered Finance Analyst and founder (Chief Executive Officer) of Xeno Technologies, an investment management company, told The Independent in an interview that the French based firm is likely to succeed once it capitalises on the growing economy that has an increasing number of the middle class.

He also said that the exit of two Kenyan supermarkets left a vacuum that new players and old ones can take advantage of and grow.

He said that Nakumatt and Uchumi failed partly because of mismanagement.

“The two retail chains had a poor supply chain management and they also lacked money,” he said.The growing population is also expected to support the growth of retail chains according to experts.Currently, Uganda’s population stands at more than 34million people while the economy has been growing at an average of 5.5%, according to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) data.Similarly, Christy Tawii, a senior research analyst at Euromonitor International for Sub- Saharan Africa says the African continent has opportunities for retail chains wishing to expand into new frontier markets owing to a growing population, rapid urbanisation and fast growing consumer expenditure.“Retailing contributions to GDP across the region continue to increase, indicating that the region is consumption-driven,” she said.Tawii, however, says although Africa is regarded as an emerging market, it is different and complex and that investors have to be cautious about it.“The region is home to 55 independent states, which are characterized by diverse […]

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