Shoprite set to enter Kenya’s market by taking over Nakumatt's empty space at Junction

The grocer had 2 689 stores in 15 countries across the continent at the end of its last fiscal year, according to its annual report.

South Africa based retail chain; Shoprite Holdings is currently in talks with the management of Nakumatt Junction to open its first stores in Kenya by filling retail space left empty by the cash strapped Nakumatt Holdings chain.

“We are currently in talks with some of the property owners but nothing has been signed,” Shoprite director Gerhard Fritz said.

Mr. Fritz also said they were keenly following up and awaiting the outcome of merger talks between Nakumatt and local rival Tusker Mattresses before deciding whether to proceed or not.

Nakumatt Supermarket last month announced it had entered into a merger agreement with Naivas, one of its biggest historical competitor in a bid to save its fast dwindling fortunes.

The deal is still awaiting approval by the market regulatory body, Kenya Chamber of Commerce.

Shoprite hopes to enter the Kenyan market which has been blossoming of late through taking over vacated outlets since the countries retail market  is “too well established” to build new stores.

Should the deal go through, the move would represent a major step in the expansion of Shoprite  outside its traditional market in South Africa where consumer confidence has been weak because of sluggish economic growth.

It wouldn’t be a walk in the pack for Shoprite however in Kenya; the retailer will have to battle stiff competition from retailers including Game – owned by South African retailer Massmart Holdings, Carrefour of France, run by franchise holder Majid Al Futtaim Holding, and Choppies Enterprises of Botswana.

Local grocers include Chandarana Foodplus Supermarkets and Naivas Supermarkets would also give shoprite a run of their money.

Shoprite also plans to buy two Nakumatt sites in Uganda, according to Fritz.

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