carrefour
Carrefour has opened a branch in Karen, Nairobi, targeting the super-rich who reside in that area.

French retail giant Carrefour today opens its first store in Kenya, stepping up competition for high-end retailers in the market.

Carrefour —ranked the world’s second-largest supermarket chain after Wal-Mart Stores —open its maiden Kenyan outlet at The Hub, a new shopping mall located in Nairobi’s upmarket Karen suburb.

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It will set up 6,000 square feet of retail space, taking up a fifth of the 30,000 square-feet of the Sh4 billion shopping mall located in Nairobi’s affluent Karen district.

Carrefour’s entry is expected to pose new competition especially to the market leader Nakumatt, which targets similar clientele.



“The supermarket space has been dominated by local indigenous players with some small exceptions. The arrival of Groupe Carrefour signals that this cosy market is set to come under pressure. Carrefour is surely targeting the top slice spend and in that regard I think they will be well received,” said the Rich Management CEO Aly Khan Satchu.

Kenya’s formal retail market is dominated by privately-held and family-owned businesses such as Nakumatt, Tuskys and Naivas with only one listed supermarket chain Uchumi.

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According to London-based consultancy Oxford Business Group, Kenya is second to South Africa and doubles Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, in the level of development of formal retail shopping stores.

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The growth in shopping malls, says the firm, has been fuelled by demand as the expenditure level for the average Kenyan consumer has risen by as much as 67 per cent in recent years, making Kenya Africa’s fastest-growing retail market.

But while dedicated retail properties and formal retailers are on the rise, the market remains dominated by the traditional, informal sector where 70 per cent of Kenyans do their daily shopping, according to consumer research firm Nielsen.

In the steps of Massmart

Carrefour’s two retail stores in Kenya will be operated by Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim Retail, the exclusive franchise holders for Carrefour in the region. The Middle East firm is part of the Majid Al Futtaim Group, the family-owned business that acquired troubled motor dealer CMC Holdings in a Sh7.5 billion cash offer in 2014.

The Paris-based supermarket chain is set to become the second global supermarket chain in Kenya’s retail industry after South Africa’s Massmart which opened its Game store last year at the Garden City Mall along the Thika Superhighway.




Carrefour is also eyeing a 100,000-square feet store at Two Rivers, a shopping complex owned by the Nairobi bourse-listed investment firm Centum, this year. Carrefour has a total of 10,105 stores in 34 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, Russia and Africa.

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About the Author

Business Daily is Kenya's only daily business newspaper published by the Nation Media Group. The newspaper, launched in March 2007, is published from Monday to Friday, with the Friday edition circulating over the weekend. It is based at the Nation Centre in Nairobi.

62 comments

  1. hallo,i love the idea of having a branch in nairobi. That was good of you.Kindly which email address can i use in applying a job in your supermarkets?

  2. It’s good to see that there is competition in the market from International Retailers. But there are a couple of points to consider: There needs to be expansion of Carrefour-one store will not suffice. The pricing at the store is good-can Carrefour sustain Loss leading in some categories? The road to the Hub is bad and when we visited the centre it was very quiet. It will be challenging but it will be competitive and can only be good for the retail environment in Kenya

  3. Two stores in the whole country do not pose competition to anyone in the field especially Nakumatt which has I believe a loyal clientele.

  4. Let them come small but wide….it will capture a lager market….if the target is the upper scale only….then let them be our guests….this is Kenya…..we begin small to get big!!

  5. I agree two stores wont make such a threat to market leader Nakumatt; but with growth and expansion i can see that happening. I was there past weekend and must say apart from the cold i got from their cold AC the place is welcoming and tempting to your bank account

  6. The only competitive advantage that Nakumatt has at the moment is the established customer loyalty which is bound to change once Carrefour diversifies in the market.It could be having just two stores currently thus not posing a major threat to Nakumatt but this a good strategy as they need to focus on stablizing themselves in the country first.After sometime there is a high possibility of capturing a high fraction of the market and win Nakumatt customers too.

  7. They should take up uchumi in langata. U cannot even get a packet of milk. Why do they bother to open doors if they are not selling.

  8. Good for health competition,welcome to kenya.we are ready to receive you for young kenyans to have jobs. Working with nakumatt but I am encouraged to apply for ajob.

  9. I hereby apply for a job vacancy in your company. I have been working with Nakumatt for 2 years now. I request you to have me to work with you to achieve your goal.

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