Naivas Supermarkets is set to open a new store along Nairobi’s Moi Avenue, taking up space that until recently housed a Barclays Bank of Kenya branch. The family-owned retail chain says it plans to open the store on November 15, in what will see the business occupy a prime spot teeming with foot traffic.
The upper part of Moi Avenue has not had a major supermarket outlet since closure of Tuskys’ Beba Beba branch in May. The Beba Beba Tuskys outlet was one of the rival retail chain’s best performing branch.
Barclays vacated Bank House — located at the junction of Moi Avenue and Kenyatta Avenue —on October 1 in a restructuring that saw the lender close a total of seven branches and relocate operations to nearby outlets. “This is a prime location for Naivas. We expect the store to perform really well since the area has significant footfall,” said Naivas chief operating officer Willy Kimani in an interview.
“This upper part of town is currently largely underserved.” Tuskys, another family-owned retailer, was forced to close its Beba Beba branch five months ago after the building it was operating in changed ownership. The new landlord opted to open stalls and offices.
Naivas also plans to open a new store in Utawala on October 17, another in Kericho on November 3 and thereafter one each in Kitengela, Mountain View (Waiyaki Way) and Mombasa. The retail chain, which recently lost its bid to replace Nakumatt at Thika Road Mall (TRM) to Carrefour, has however also shut down two non-performing branches.
Mr Kimani says they have closed a branch in Githunguri and another one on Nairobi’s Ronald Ngala Street. “The two branches were not breaking even and the decision was made early to close them and shift our efforts to other promising locations.
“At Ronald Ngala, for instance, we had two branches close to each other. We had to close one.”
Compiled by Collins Gathogo.