Struggling retailers Uchumi and Nakumatt

Cash strapped retailers Nakumatt and Uchumi are making concerted efforts to reverse their financial fortunes, the former has reclaimed the prime space at the Mega Mall on Uhuru Highway while the latter has assembled a financial restructuring team with the primary task of rescuing it from insolvency.

Nakumatt left the Uhuru Highway mall on September 30 following the expiry of its lease for the 40,000 square feet space after being evicted from several high end malls across the country but the chain store owned by Atul Shah has made a sensational comeback to the prime space not far off from the Toyota and Nissan dealerships.

In a statement to newsrooms on December 15, Nakumatt’s administrator Peter Kahi said that said the return is symbolic of the firm’s commitment to return to a formidable retail player status in the coming years.

“Nakumatt is back at the same spot where it defined its growth trajectory more than two decades ago. This time round, the firm is committed to reclaiming its place in the local retail sector, albeit cautiously,” Kahi said.

Following the launch, Nakumatt Mega, is stocking a range of non-food items on the store’s ground level while preparatory works are ongoing at the store’s lower ground level which will house the food and general home commodities section. The section is slated for opening within the next two weeks.

Earlier this year, Nakumatt Holdings, announced that it had embarked on a business recovery programme.

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According to Kahi, the recovery programme dubbed Nakumatt BounceBack, is supported by local and international suppliers keen on seeing the firm back on track.

As part of the recovery strategy, the firm has announced plans to restock six key branches in Nairobi, Nakuru and Kisumu.

On the other hand, Uchumi’s new restructuring team has embarked on a plan to restock, rebrand and resume full operations.

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“The board and management have identified and put in place a financial restructuring team that has been mandated to identify and advise on options available to settle debts owed to creditors or restructure the company’s liabilities and present a proposal before the creditors in a timely manner,” Uchumi CEO Mohamed Mohamed said in a notice on December 13.

About the Author

Samuel Gitonga is a senior reporter at BUSINESS TODAY. Email: [email protected]

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