RETAILER WOES

Rongai's Choppies woes could signals closure

The store has closed its top floor and has not been restocking of late

In Summary

• Uncertainties loom on the future of Choppies Supermarket in Ongata Rongai.

• The newest store to the giant retailer has since closed its top floor as one attendant claim they have not been restocking.

Customers at Tumaini Supermarket in Kisumu who have adapted the use of Eco-reusable packaging bags following ban on plastic bags in the country.
Customers at Tumaini Supermarket in Kisumu who have adapted the use of Eco-reusable packaging bags following ban on plastic bags in the country.

Uncertainties loom on the future of Choppies Supermarket in Ongata Rongai.

The newest store to the giant retailer has since closed its top floor as one attendant claim they have not been restocking.

“Suppliers are not bringing in goods as before,” he said.

This may indicate the Botswana-based supermarket Choppies supermarket could be heading deeper on a downward slide despite the management disputing claims of its financial troubles.

The supermarket moved into the area in October 2018, taking over space previously occupied by Uchumi supermarkets.

The expansion bid at the time, for the store that was optimistic in the Kenyan market was set to compete with existing brands including Tumaini, Tuskys and Cleanshelf.

Naivas supermarket has also opened a store, bringing in more competition.

Choppies managed to enter the Kenyan market through the acquisition of Ukwala Supermarkets in 2016.

However, it has been facing slow growth and difficulties, having shut down its Kiambu town branch at Kiambu Mall for which it was the anchor tenant in July.

This, days after it had closed the Bungoma's outlet owing to stock shortage.

The woes run since in 2018 when it was suspended from trading in the Botswana and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges due to delay in the release of its financial results for the year ended 30 June 2018.

Choppies has remained suspended since then.

The management still refutes claims of a financial crisis and signals of struggle in the local market claiming that they are committed to their Kenyan business.

“Choppies Supermarkets shareholders remain committed to the business,” read part of a statement shared in July.

In fact, plans are underway to inject more resources into the operation so as to serve more customers as our Group financial muscles remain strong,” it added.