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October 16, 2018

We shall bounce back, Nakumatt says as Ukay shuts down

Nakumatt's former Chief Executive Officer Atul Shah outside Ukay Centre in Westlands, Nairobi county, during its demolition by agencies in the Nairobi regeneration team, August 10, 2018. /EZEKIEL AMING'A
Nakumatt's former Chief Executive Officer Atul Shah outside Ukay Centre in Westlands, Nairobi county, during its demolition by agencies in the Nairobi regeneration team, August 10, 2018. /EZEKIEL AMING'A

Nakumatt holdings has closed down Nakumatt Ukay in Westlands following demolitions of Ukay centre in which it was housed.

Administrator Peter Kahi on Friday said they had removed most of the stock within the building valued at more than Sh60 million.

Efforts to clear the remaining fixed furniture and fittings are ongoing.

"Nakumatt holdings wishes to officially confirm that the former Nakumatt Ukay has closed its doors. This follows the partial demolition of Ukay centre that has housed the branch for the last 25 years," Kahi said.

He added, "The stocks retrieved from the branch have been transferred to other Nairobi branches including Nakumatt Mega, Nakumatt Prestige, Nakumatt Lavington and Nakumatt Embakasi. As part of our recovery strategy, I wish to encourage our loyal shoppers to visit us at any of these branches and enjoy the Nakumatt hospitality and retail".

Kahi said the retail will honour its obligations to all of its suppliers and related stakeholders as per existing contractual agreements.

The multi-agency team handling Nairobi's regeneration started demolishing Ukay Centre in Westlands early on Friday morning, about a day after its owners went to court to prevent the destruction.

The retailer, which grew from a mattress shop in a rural town to have branches across Kenya and East Africa, was forced to shut more than a dozen outlets last year as it struggled to repay its suppliers, landlords and other creditors.

Currently, the company has only six branches in operation after the closure of Nakumatt Ukay.

CBD Chief Julius Wanjau, who is in charge of the operation, said they were not served with the court order that Ukay owners claim to have obtained.

Read:[VIDEO] Government demolishes Ukay mall despite owners' court move

Earlier on, owner Atul Shah told journalists that the demolition of Ukay is a setback to its recovery plan.

Shah said the goods in the branch belonged to suppliers whom they owe about Sh25million.

He said the branch also owes furniture suppliers some Sh125 million.

Also read; Nakumatt's Atul Shah loses over Sh125m as Ukay mall goes down

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