Nakumatt, one of the biggest retail chain store in the East African region in terms of branch network and sales revenue, has announced plans to open up three more supermarkets within Kigali City this year.
Nakumatt Rwanda’s management says that the decision to open up three new stores is partly attributed to ‘positive trading’ results emanating from the Union Trade Centre store.
The local subsidiary of the giant retailer says that it has recorded average gross revenue worth $1 million dollars per month since November 2009, an indication that prompted the expansion.
The expansion comes just after the parent company based in Nairobi undertook a successful cash raising campaign to fuel its expansion agenda.
Nakumatt Holdings Ltd’s expansion drives envisage the opening up of additional outlets in Kigali, Nairobi and Kampala. If carried out as planned Nakumatt’s presence will expand from 19 to 21 stores throughout the East African region.
Regional media reports had indicated that Nakumatt Holdings Ltd had concluded a $25 million equity injection deal from Satya Capital -a London based private equity firm associated with Sudanese business magnate Mo Ibrahim.
In the deal Satya Capital is expected to take up a 30 percent stake of the giant retailer.
Unconfirmed sources say that $5 million has been set aside for the purposes of developing Nakumatt’s presence in Kigali in which it has plans to set up a store in the affluent suburb of Nyarutarama and another one in Remera.
However for Nakumatt it seems that plans have somehow been finetuned and initial expansion plans which were highly ambitious appears to have been down scaled substantially.
Nakumatt had initially laid out plans for a highly ambitious $20 million real estate project. known as the Gateway Mall development in Kigali in conjunction with a real estate firm called Virunga Property Development.
Sources are now intimating that the Satya Capital injection will not be injected into the Gateway Mall Project as previously anticipated.
Rather than participate in developing only a single huge mall Nakumatt Rwanda Ltd will instead concentrate on building three more rather smaller stores.
Asked to give further details about the development of these three new stores in which it is known that Nakumatt prefers making partnerships with locals, Adan Ramata the country manager, did not want to divulge further details.
”Those plans are still at inception stage much as they are our trade secrets as we are in competition. At this juncture we cannot really reveal much up till negotiations are consummated between parties concerned”, Adan told Business Times.
“What I can tell you at this juncture is that in 2010 we will build new standard stores of the sizes like the first one at UTC not a mega store as initially anticipated. However the details will be made known to press in due course”, Lalit Kumar Nakumatt Rwanda Finance manager said.
Nakumatt Rwanda Ltd says that it commands a comfortable 45 percent share of the Kigali City retail business and the with the new expansion drive it will push for more market share.