Nakumatt to open stores in Dar, Juba and Bujumbura

Saturday February 15 2014

By ISAAC KHISA The EastAfrican

Retail chain Nakumatt Holdings plans to open new stores in Burundi, South Sudan and Tanzania later this year.

The regional retailer says Burundi and South Sudan will get one outlet each while another three will be added to the existing one in Tanzania. This will see Nakumatt operating one branch in Tanzania, two in Rwanda, eight in Uganda and 34 in Kenya.

At the launch of the eighth branch at Kisementi in Kampala last week, managing director Atul Shah said the company plans to establish shoe stores in Kampala this year, to meet the growing demand for lifestyle products.

“Our regional expansion strategy remains on course and we shall be announcing further branch openings in Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and even South Sudan in coming months,” Mr Shah said. He, however, did not disclose the amount of money the company plans to invest in the expansion.

Nakumatt is in talks with South Africa’s Shoprite to buy the latter’s three stores in Tanzania — one in Arusha and two in Dar es Salaam — to secure a bigger share of the market.

Nakumatt’s closest competitors — Uchumi and Tusky’s Supermarkets — are also fighting for a share of the growing demand for retail services.

In November last year, Uchumi Supermarket turned to the government for funds to fund expansion and refurbishment of its stores.

The listed retailer borrowed $3.42 million from the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation, a development finance institution fully owned by the government, which owns about 1.75 per cent of Uchumi’s shares.

The retailer is preparing for a rights issue later this year that will see it offer up to 100 million shares targeting investors at the Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda bourses.