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Carrefour, which is operated by Majid Al Futtaim in Kenya, the exclusive franchisee to operate Carrefour in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, will open Two new stores in Kisumu County. This will make it the 3rd largest supermarket chain in Kenya, behind Naivas and Quickmart.

Since Carrefour entered the Kenyan market, it now operates several hypermarkets and supermarkets, employing over 1800 staff. Carrefour now has 13 outlets: 11 mainly spread out in Nairobi and 2 in Mombasa. Carrefour’s aggressive strategy has made it open Four branches in the last Four months with its recent occupancy in Westgate Mall, Westlands.

The expansion of Carrefour to the Lake Basin Region will create direct and indirect job opportunities to over 200 Kisumu residents. The hypermarket will be open at United Mall along the busy Kisumu-Kakamega highway and a supermarket Mega Plaza targeting thousands of shoppers at the CBD to stamp Carrefour’s presence against old players in the region. The two stores will open in July and August respectively.

Other recent developments include Carrefour branches in Kwale County at Diani Centre Point Plaza and at the Nextgen Mall, along Mombasa Road in Nairobi.

During a courtesy meeting with governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, Carrefour Country Manager Franck Moreau said, “Our continuous commitment to contribute towards the Kenyan economy is reflected in the increase of job opportunities for local communities where we operate.”

However, mergers in other retailers like Tumaini and Quickmart continue to harden the retailer’s competitive environment with low pricing and estate branches. Tuskys seeks to strengthen its hold as a top retailer by opening a branch in Kisumu at Simba Club Hall next to United Mall.

According to Moreau, “more than 200 Kisumu residents will benefit from the opening of the two stores through direct and indirect employment.”

Closures Mean More Job Losses

Retailers in Kisumu have in the past continued to struggle with dwindling revenues and increasing competition. Nakumatt Holdings, once the region’s largest regional retailer closed IN 2019 and workers sent away. This created a niche vacuum for new names in retail. In Kisumu, Tuskys Supermarket located at United Mall was also recently closed over rent arrears worth millions.

Brands like Good Life Pharmacy, Safari Optica, Ufungamano Christian Bookshop and Gifts among others which were sublet by Tuskys we also affected. 

At the time of closure, Tuskys was into public auction; with the auctioneers given directive to sale all the goods in the shops to recover debt value. Choppies Supermarket closed its branch at Swan Centre, transferring stock to other branches in the city the later closed the other five branches in Kisumu. When one closes, we are staring at job losses, as the supermarket is leaving and the workers are sent home.

While there is a slowdown in activity in Kenya’s retail space due to COVID-19, Carrefour remains bullish and targets to open more outlets in Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret and Naivasha.

Author: ibrahim

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