THE Chartered Institute of Marketing has raised concern over increased cases of products being imported by large supermarkets and being packaged by the retail chains. This practice has suppressed local demand with Kenyan manufacturers warning thousands of jobs are at risk.
"This is growing at a alarming rate causing discomfort with the manufacturers... we are worried that the country is turning into a cheap importer suppressing opportunities for the youth, women and the disadvantaged," said CIM chairman James Ngomeli in a statement.
CIM has also the supermarkets to establish special counters to stock goods and services of youth and women in line with the government initiatives to address the economic imbalances.
"We would like to encourage thAe private sector to show commitment to help the government by not only proving the fundIing but allowing their outlets to be used," Ngomeli said.
The chair said CIM East Africa will form a taskforce to ensure that supermarkets keep aside shelve space for the women, youth and the disadvantaged groups. "The taskforce will encourage the chains to strategically place the group items in a good location," he argues.
The taskforce will also brand and promote outlets that are supporting these groups through joint promotion programmes with the government and various donors, he added.
"In the same breath, we will have to include all big malls to have each of their shops stocking these items and the malls will also be branded compliant and will attract more customers," Ngomeli said.