The Curious Case of Nakumatt Supermarkets

Not open for further replies.


Village Elder
We know that business is a roller coaster; it's got its ups and downs. But one can't help but notice that Nakumatt does have quite a number of 'misfortunes.'

They had a whole branch demolished by gava back in 2008 coz apparently it was sitting on land earmarked for the soon to be constructed Thika Superhighway.

Then there was the tragic fire that razed down Nakumatt Downtown in early 2009 and left around 40 dead. We have never seen them recover that prime location, which was mysteriously turned into a car park.

In 2013, their Westgate branch was the centre of that horrific terrorist siege and bore most of the casualties, damages and losses.

Nakumatt is a KES 35bn decades-old regional juggernaut, but they have never listed on any of the regional stock exchanges, unlike much much smaller companies. Every time there has talk of an IPO, a setback always seems to toklezea & put plans on hold.

Some branches seem to have very low customer numbers even though they are located in very prime locations. A good example is that branch along Ronald Ngala street (OTC). You'd expect it to be a beehive considering that the area just outside is a bus stop for sooo many routes but wapi? I remember shopping there one weekday evening like 7pm (rush hour) and I think I was the only customer hapo kwa tills. I found the cashier browsing on his phone and I was thinking wah, this is not right. I think they are suffering from a market perception that they always have high prices. The Naivas & Tuskys branches next door are usually very busy. Remember when Julie Gichuru used to do those price comparisons for various products on Sunday Live and Nakumatt prices were almost always the highest. I think they have been taking a beating with time.

Alafu there was that shelf pricing scandal a few weeks ago which went unexpectedly viral and proved to be a PR disaster. Now they are forced to spend a lot of time, energy and resources on 'audits,' unnecessary gadgets, not to mention the looming threat of legal action by COFEK. Let's be honest; all supermarkets engage in stupid shenanigans, most famously the sweets-for-coins BS, but Nakumatt turned out to be the unfortunate scapegoat with just that one packet of milk they overpriced by 6 bob.

Now to Lifestyle. Ever since the building of the 39 storey tower began on the complex, that branch is reported to have lost 40-50% of business due to the inconvenience brought about by the ongoing construction.

Now there is yet another fire they have to grapple with...


Village Elder
You forgot to mention that audit manager who was murdered right before the pricing scam was exposed. They are running a fiery business....literary


Village Chief
You forgot to mention despite all that they remain the most profitable retail chain with a presence in Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.


Village Elder
You forgot to mention that it could be the tenants (Nakumat and Company) sabotaging the ongoing construction of Hazina towers due to loss of business
There have also been dark rumors about this chain being a front for some illegal pharmaceutical business. I guess insurance will take care of it, but if I was Nakumatt's insurer I would dramatically increase the premiums they pay, judging by their recent history.


Every misfortune has a cousin in tow. Happens everywhere in business. First day unaimbiwa, next time your premises is razed down, then Njiraini comes calling and then....

but all in all, they remain the most profitable retail chain.

Female Perspective

what's with the blue label? I hear they favour their Indian suppliers over Nyeuthi? Is it true? And if black & your stuff is flying off the shelves they start sourcing it themselves...
Not open for further replies.