Capital FM (Nairobi)

17 January 2013

Kenya: Nakumatt Unveils Private Label to Boost Local Industries

Nairobi — Nakumatt Holdings has launched a wide range of retail products under its private label.

The products which will be progressively introduced on Nakumatt shelves and branded Nakumatt Blue Label, are geared at providing the retailer's shoppers with a range of quality, value for money products.

Benchmarked against leading brands in the respective categories, all Nakumatt Blue Label products are priced fairly to provide more value for money to shoppers.

The products are distinctively branded with an iconic blue band to reflect Nakumatt's commitment to deliver quality and reliable products.

The range of products developed following a 12 month research and development process by the retailer are manufactured in full compliance to local quality standards as outlined by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).

Already, Nakumatt Blue Label products include: household cleaners (bleach, scouring powder, disinfectants, window and tile cleaners), sugar, wheat flour (home baking, self-raising, whole meal and atta), maize flour and selected grains are now available on Nakumatt shelves regionally.

Nakumatt Holdings Managing Director Atul Shah, speaking when he confirmed the introduction of the Nakumatt Blue Label range of products, said that the firm's Sh200 million venture into private label brands will be driven through a contract-manufacturing model.

The manufacturers retained by Nakumatt have been selected from a panel of industrialists with proven experience in contract manufacturing for multinational and local Fast Moving Consumer Goods marketers.

Riding on a 'Trusted Quality at Real Value' brand promise, Shah explained that Nakumatt has fast tracked the launch of its private label products as part of a commitment to support local industrialisation efforts while providing a lifeline for local manufacturers.

"As a regional retailer, we have in the last few years watched helplessly as local manufacturers' are driven out of business through rising imports of hitherto locally produced goods due to the overall high cost of production for most multinationals locally," Shah explained.

"In the spirit of aligning our corporate goals to Vision 2030 ideals, we are keen to develop a wide range of Nakumatt Blue Label products locally manufactured and benchmarked against global standards."

The Nakumatt team leader further assured that the firm will strictly monitor adherence to quality standards and proper manufacturing processes using local and international quality audit firms.

Compared to industrial giants such as Egypt and South Africa, Kenyan leading multinational manufacturers have been forced to cut their local production preferring to import finished products due to the high cost of local production.

The move by multinational firms to suspend local manufacturing has in turn occasioned job losses and stagnated industrial growth.

However, with the launch of Nakumatt Blue Label products, Nakumatt Holdings is strategically reaching out to local small and large manufacturers providing them with an alternative opportunity to manufacture and retail quality products under its brand name.

"At Nakumatt, we consider this to be a win-win opportunity for local manufactures to raise their production capacities while extending quality, value for money products to our discerning customers," shah pointed out.

In coming months, Nakumatt also plans to unveil a line of spring water, ready to eat snacks, detergents and spices among many other products under its Nakumatt Blue Label brand.

Nakumatt, is also in talks with a number of Ugandan, Rwandan and Tanzanian manufacturers to provide a regional manufacturing and retail platform for products' from the East Africa region including Rwandan coffee.

Nakumatt, Shah further disclosed will also be venturing into specialty cosmetic sales and lifestyle sales for global brands such as Revlon, Sketchers and Clarks footwear.

Globally, leading retailers are increasingly venturing into private label sales that account for more than 20 percent of their retail sales as value-seeking consumers increasingly continue to cast their brand preference nets wider.

International retailers such as Wal-Mart and Tesco are estimated to be stocking about 40 percent and 50 percent of private brands in their respective stores.

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