Nakumatt, a leading departmental store in Rwanda is set to open-up more outlets. This was revealed by the company’s Managing Director, Atul Shah, during a recent interview with The Business Times.
According to Shah, Nakumatt is still keen on expanding its operations beyond Nakumatt City Centre.
A number of property developers have been approached and officials say the management is reviewing at least two potential sites within Kigali and its suburbs.
“Rwanda is a fast growing country and its political and economic stability is a sure plus for any discerning investor. Space and facilities permitting, we shall most definitely open up other outlets,” he added.
Nakumatt, opened up its doors in Kigali last year, promising to invest $7m (about Frw3.5 billion) in a world class supermarket.
The City Centre Supermarket is hiring 25,000 square foot space to stock more than 20,000 products which include foods, beverages, stationeries, electronics, toiletries and furniture.
The Supermarket’s Managing Director dismissed rumours that the chain store carried out a study in Rwanda and found out that their proposed expansion won’t be profitable.
“Factually incorrect, our feasibility studies confirm the market potential to host at least two supermarkets and one hypermarket in Kigali,” he said.
“Going by the overwhelming business we are currently enjoying at Nakumatt City Centre, it’s obvious that Kigali still has a capacity to host more formal and world-class supermarkets,” Shah added.
Shah also explained that the chain Supermarket does not directly engage with the land authorities for purchase of land for development.
“Given our corporate business model, Nakumatt operates on a leasing model for all our branches. We do not invest in such capital expenses preferring to lease out such facilities from local property developers in all the countries we operate from,” he added.
On the progress of setting up the Gateway Mall, Offices and Apartment which will cost about $18million (Rwf10.3 billion), the Managing Director explained that the project was to be undertaken by local property developers.
Upon completion of the project, Nakumatt had committed to take up space within the mall at Kimihurura as the anchor tenant.
“To our knowledge, the developers have however faced some drawbacks compounded by the global economic crisis which seems to have delayed the project. The property developers have assured us that the project is still on and may be rolled out sometime soon,” Shah explained.
However, there were rumors that the piece of land was taken-up by the Madhvani Group of companies, which was set to construct a multi-million dollar hotel on the 30,000 sq mt.
Nakumatt is a wholly Kenyan company owned by the Atul Shah family and Hotnet Ltd, that has 18 stores across Kenya, employing 3,200 people, it also operates in Uganda and it is planning to expand to other East African countries.