KENYAN GOVT MULLS PROPOSAL TO SET UP WATCHDOG FOR RETAIL SECTOR

NAIROBI, The Kenyan government is mulling a proposal to set up a watchdog for Kenya’s retail sector, says Trade Ministry Principal Secretary (Assistant Minister) Dr. Chris Kiptoo who adds that it the proposed regulatory body will be tasked with developing guidelines for players operating in the industry.

Dr. Kiptoo also said here Tuesday that the government had no plan to offer struggling supermarket chain operator Nakumatt any bailout since the government is not a shareholder. Nakumatt, a leading retailer in Kenya, which also has operations in several neighbouring countries, has announced plans to close down a number of stores.

Kenya’s retail sector has become a major economic driver for the country, employing thousands of people and generating billions of shillings in turnover for the local economy. With the rising consumer purchasing power and a fledgling middle class, Kenya has also become a magnet for multinational retailers seeking to cash in on the under-served retail market.

Formal retail penetration in Kenya is at almost 18 per cent, with the informal sector serving the rest. Kenya’s retail sector grew by 13 per cent in 2016 lifted by a rising consumer trend of bulk buying, according to a survey by American consumer good giant Procter and Gamble.

The sector contributed about 10 per cent to total wealth generated in Kenya in 2016, according to the 2017 annual economic survey.

Kiptoo said in view of the growth of the sector, the government had held talks with industry players with the aim of creating a watchdog to regulate the industry. A report by a task force formed last year to look into ways of strengthening the retail sector will be handed over to the government later this week.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK