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Nakumatt blames poor sales as it closes Ronald Ngala branch

Nakumatt Supermarket has closed its Ronald Ngala branch, Nairobi citing low sales from the downtown shop that has been operational for many years.

Nakumatt managing director Atul Shah says the outlet has been struggling over the years with poor sales volumes, becoming unsustainable to maintain owing to high cost of operations.

Mr Shah said the affected employees have been absorbed in other branches. 

“We have closed the Ronald Ngala branch completely because it has not been making enough sales to make it sustainable,” Mr Shah told the Nation on phone Monday.

“Nakumatt is sometimes perceived as an expensive supermarket and its location was, therefore, not good for our business leading to its closure,” he said. 

The closure of Ronald Ngala branch now brings down to 63 the number of outlets that the retailer has in the region.

Last December, Nakumatt opened a branch on Mombasa Road, which was followed shortly by another one in Kigali.

The Mombasa Road shop targets customers using the Southern Bypass, and the middle class residents of neighbouring residential estates like South B and C, Diamond Park and other estates in the area.

According to South African rating agency GCR, the retail chain’s gross debt more than tripled in as many years to Sh15 billion in the period to February 2015 from Sh4.2 billion in 2011.

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