Nakumatt takes over Shoprite Uganda shop in EAC expansion drive

Regional retailer Nakumatt has taken over the branch building that previously hosted Shoprite Supermarkets in Uganda which closed in June citing poor location.

Shoprite is a South African retail giant with a presence in East Africa but has in the recent past been disposing some of its assets in the region with plans to exit the region. It sold its three outlets in Tanzania last year to Nakumatt.

The new outlet that Nakumatt has now occupied in Uganda is located in Kampala’s Naalya area at Metroplex Shopping Mall. The retail giant will be covering a space of 35,000 square feet shopping floor area.

“We are the anchor tenant at Metroplex Shopping Mall that previously hosted one of Shoprite outlets in Uganda. We have joined in independently and have not bought out Shoprite this time as we did last year with Shoprite Tanzania. We have recruited our own staff,” said Nakumatt head of strategy and operations Thiagarajan Ramamurthy on Monday in a telephone interview.

Mr Ramamurthy said the expansion was based on the need to increase Nakumatt’s branch network that now stands at 55 to about 60 by end of the year. He said the new outlet would employ more than 70 staff.

“Our outlets in Rwanda are doing well, the market response has proved that the retail sector in East Africa is vibrant,” said Mr Ramamurthy.

Nakumatt said it invested $1.2 million (Sh122.42 million) in the new outlet. The supermarket chain currently has nine branches in Uganda.

“At Nakumatt, we are actively committed to our corporate mission which is geared at boosting formal retail penetration in East Africa,” said managing director Atul Shah on Sunday during the official opening of the new Nakumatt branch in Uganda.

“The opening of Nakumatt Naalya, confirms the steadily growing demand for world class retail stores.”

This month, the retailer acquired western Kenya-based retail chain Yako Supermarket after it received regulatory approval to take over three stores in Kakamega, Bungoma and Busia. Yako Supermarket belonged to Sudhir Khetia.

Across the region, Nakumatt has maintained its expansion drive deepening its operations both at home and in East Africa.

The retail chain has four branches in Tanzania and two in Rwanda alongside its 40 stores in Kenya.