EAST African regional retailer, Nakumatt Holdings, on Saturday scored a jubilee feat with the formal opening of its 50th branch in East African in Arusha Region.
"Having opened our first branch 22 years ago in Nairobi, I'm excited by this success. It is no mean achievement opening the 50 branches by a homegrown retailer in East Africa," said Mr Atul Shah, the Nakumatt holdings Managing Director at the event.
The opening of Nakumatt Arusha, at the Tanganyika Farmers Association shopping complex, now sets the pace for retailer's renewed growth plans in EA region and beyond. Mr Shah said that he wants to ensure that Nakumatt double the formal retail penetration in East African from the current less than 14 percent to at least 30 per cent in the next ten years.
"My dream is to see thousands of farmers and other cottage industries accessing formal retail markets such as Nakumatt" Mr Shah noted, adding: "For this, we have committed to play a mentorship role to raise the capacity of organized groups to deliver suitably packaged and market ready retail products."
Officiating the official opening of the Nakumatt Arusha branch, the EAC Secretary General, Dr Richard Sezibera said that the regional body is striving hard to eliminate non-tarriff-barriers for the private sector to operate smoothly.
"We should think East Africans for us to grow, unfortunate there are some people who think very local and therefore miss opportunities" Dr Sezibera stressed.
The EAC boss commended the Nakumatt holdings for its regional spirit and plans to operate 24-hours seven days a week. Arusha City Mayor, Mr Gaudence Lyimo thanked the Nakumatt management for choosing Arusha as the best place to invest.
"For us, Nakumatt supermarket will add value to our city which is famous as Geneva of Africa" Lyimo said, imploring other investors to borrow a leaf from Nakumatt.
Having started its supermarket operations in 1992 with its pioneer Nakumatt Mega store located along Nairobi's Uhuru Highway opposite Nyayo Stadium, Nakumatt has been enjoying steady growth for the last 20 years.
Under the stewardship of its Managing Director, Mr Shah, Nakumatt has over the last two decades managed to revolutionalise East Africa's formal retail operations having pioneered several retail concepts.
Among other retail concepts, Nakumatt was the first retailer to unveil The 24 hrs shopping across the region. With a staffing force of more than 7,000 across the region, Nakumatt is perhaps now the leading formal sector employer in Retail sphere in East Africa.
Across the region, Nakumatt has been at the forefront in the promotion of regional retail trade integration and currently operates 8 branches in Uganda, 4 in Tanzania and 2 in Rwanda alongside its 36 Kenya stores.
Currently enjoying a more than 650million US dollars turnover for its regional operations, Shah confirmed that Nakumatt's future looks bright with its expansion plans now trained on such markets as, South Sudan and Burundi among others. With the opening of Nakumatt Mlimani, Pugu road and Nakumatt Arusha Shah, pointed it out that Nakumatt now has four running stores in Tanzania.
The three new stores are the latest additions to the existing Nakumatt Moshi store which opened its doors in 2011 in the bustling town at the foot of Mt Kilimanjaro.
In Kenya, Nakumatt is also gearing up for the opening of two new stores in Kenya by the end of the year. Alongside the store openings, Nakumatt is also actively enhancing its private brands (Nakumatt Select and Nakumatt Blue Label) rollout across the East Africa region, to offer the best value proposition to its loyal shoppers.