Business and Finance
Nakumatt buys Ugandan retail chain
Nakumatt Holdings has acquired three branches of a Kampala-based retail chain with a heavy presence in the suburbs, raising the ante in the race for shoppers in the bustling Ugandan capital.
Kenya’s leading supermarket chain recently snapped Payless Supermarket’s three branches in Bugoloobi, Bukoto and Kabalagala, in a transaction valued at $650,000 (Sh52 million).
“We bought them (Payless Supermarket) out,” Mr Joshua Ng’ang’a, the Nakumatt Uganda branch manager, told the New Vision newspaper of Uganda. “Stores formerly occupied by Payless will be operating under our management in a few days. Right now we are making infrastructural improvements,” he said.
Mr Ng’ang’a said Nakumatt had retained 80 former Payless workers, adding they were refurbishing the premises to bring them up to Nakumatt standards.
“These small branches will just keep our name in these locations as we plan to set up bigger stores in the same areas,” he said.
This comes barely two months after Tuskys Supermarket acquired two stores in Kampala, as Kenyan retailers frightened at home by competition make a beeline for Uganda.
Tuskys, which bought out Half Price and Good Price, was the third Kenyan supermarket chain to open shop in Uganda after Nakumatt and Uchumi.
Nakumatt appears to be taking a serious outlook on Kampala, a market it entered in June last year with a hyperstore on Yusuf Lule Road sinking in $3 million (Sh240 million).
Its foray into the regional market started in August 2008 when it opened its first store outside Kenya at the Union Trade Centre in Kigali, Rwanda.
Nakumatt runs over 23 stores in major towns in Kenya, but competition has been growing, especially from Tuskys and emerging players as well as a resurgent Uchumi, for the low-end market that tipples the scales for retailers.