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World’s second-largest supermarket chain franchise in Kenya recorded USD81M in sales last year

Last week, the French retailer announced plans to open its fifth store at Nairobi’s Sarit Centre in April.

Carrefour, the world’s second-largest supermarket chain after Wal-Mart launched its first store in Nairobi in 2016, now operates four branches in the Kenyan capital; Two Rivers Mall, Thika Road Mall, the Junction Mall and The Hub, Karen.

Last week, the retailer announced plans to open its fifth store at Nairobi’s Sarit Centre in April, taking over the space recently vacated by struggling Uchumi.

Majid Al Futtaim, the exclusive holder of Carrefour’s franchise in Kenya made public its Kenya annual sales in a newly-released financial report that also quantifies its local assets as of December 2017 at Sh3.1 billion ($30m).

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“The group is fully focused on the Carrefour 2022 plan, with ambitious action plans currently being implemented in all of its geographies,”Alexandre Bompard, the chief executive of Carrefour, said last week.

“Carrefour is back on the offensive and is investing to resume growth.”

Carrefour business’s sales in Kenya which comes at a time local retail chains such as Nakumatt and Uchumi are struggling to remain afloat is a pointer to a highly profitable business which, with ongoing expansion drive, could see the supermarket chain morph into a multi-billion shilling operation.

The Sh8.2 billion recorded from the four branches is in line with Carrefour’s earlier disclosure that its maiden outlet at The Hub Karen made Sh1.54 billion in revenues in the first seven months of operation (May to December 2016).

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Majid Al Futtaim chief executive officer Alain Bejjani last month revealed that the business was looking at expanding into the East African region, seeking to replicate the success enjoyed in Kenya.

“With regards to Africa,...we are looking to expand beyond Kenya as well,” Mr Bejjani said in a statement.

The French retailer, however, faces stiff competition in this expansion bid, with local supermarkets Tuskys, Naivas and recently regional players like Botswana’s Choppies also seemingly hungry to expand their footprint locally.

South Africa’s Game and Shoprite have also announced plans to expand locally, promising Carrefour a bruising battle in the marketplace.

Choppies, which gained a local foothold by taking over several Ukwala Supermarket stores, also plans to open new outlets countrywide.

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