Nakumatt, the Kenya-based 21 year-old chain of retail stores is not “coming soon to Kigali” as its advert stated in this newspaper yesterday. It is already here with us. Having bought out City Supermarket at Union Trade Centre, the giant dealer in general retail merchandise has notched a fairly good starting point. Rwanda is the second country outside of Kenya where Nakumatt has ventured, which again explains how this country is rated by big time investors in regard to the prospects of doing business here.
Companies of Nakumatt’s pedigree never put their money where they have the slightest doubt of business success. They have enough to spend on market survey, which they conduct with diligence.
Rwandans’ shopping potential is growing with their economy. Realisation of this is what is attracting bigger business to the economy.
In Kenya the company employs a total of 3000 staff. But that is also because it runs 19 stores country-wide. With its plan to soon construct an even bigger store near the Kimihurura roundabout than the City Supermarket, projections of 200 or more Rwandans securing jobs are not far fetched. And that’s not all.
There are items people have been going all the way to Kampala to purchase that will certainly be available in Kigali.
That is the least of differences that you expect from a store which offers so much variety. The result is more commodities accessible to shoppers within friendly distances.
The other benefit is that because the general merchandise retail business is going to become more competitive, shoppers are likely to enjoy better customer care. Smaller supermarkets will no doubt improve their act.
Not only will they make effort to serve customers efficiently, they will strive to make their stores more ambient as well.
Shopping trolleys are likely to increase in number, and space to ride them along will have to be created. Stores with too narrow corridors for two shoppers moving in adjacent positions will be skipped.
The prices will also most likely be lowered to a bigger extent, as dealers focus the more on how to outsprint each other in a close race for customers. Ultimately both Nakumatt and Rwanda are winners in this venture.