Uchumi Supermarkets has closed its iconic Aga Khan Walk branch in the city center, signalling the retailer’s deepening financial troubles.
Uchumi management said the move was “temporary” as it seeks further advice on whether to reduce its space at the branch from the current three floors to cut down on cost.
The retailer added that the branch could be shut down if the space reduction does not swing around its fortunes.
“We have decided to reduce the number of outlets. We are bringing in consultancy and the branch will be re-organised with a view to reducing the space currently under rent,” said Uchumi yesterday.
The retailer added that it is currently seeking to franchise its outlets, reduce space for its branches or close some in the face of financial troubles.
It has already relinquished its Lang’ata Hyper branch in a franchise deal and its Nairobi West outlet is set to follow.
The retailer adopted the move two years ago, targeting 200 franchise mini shops across the country as a way of turning round its fortunes.
The state-owned retailer’s financial woes in the last few years have seen its once vibrant 40 branches across East Africa shrink to just over 20 in Kenya.