“We will turn this business around and become the most loved brand in Kenya,” Andrew Dixon, Nakumatt Holdings marketing director, told the Citizen Television in an interview on Tuesday an optimism for Kenya’s largest retailer that is struggling to redeem its financial position.
The retailer has not only paid its over 1,500 employees their May salaries, it is struggling to replenish its dwindling stocks on the shelves besides plans to shut down several unprofitable branches under its accelerated restructuring programme aimed at cutting operational costs by Sh1.5 billion annually.
Further, it is yet to receive $75 million (about Sh7.7 billion) offer for 25 per cent stake from a foreign fund. “It is not within our control. I anticipate it will be a matter of weeks and not months,” says Dixon.
On Tuesday, bankers, suppliers and retailers petitioned the Principal Secretary, State Department of Trade, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives Dr. Chris Kiptoo to intervene on their behalf to have Nakumatt settle outstanding debts owed to them amounting Ksh15 billion accrued since 2011.
— Trade KE (@Trade_Kenya) June 20, 2017
For Dixon, the financial challenges are an accumulation of a number of events that have merged together. “I know Nakumatt can prevail. As customers the choice is yours so please keep the faith,” he said on his Twitter feed.
As interviewed on Citizen TV tonight i know Nakumatt can prevail. As customers the choice is yours so pls keep the faith. God bless us all.
— Andrew Dixon (@Nakumatt_CMO) June 20, 2017
The now dynamic Kenyan shopper has made most retail chains to reconsider their strategies. Customers spend more on experiences and demand quicker, more convenient ways to shop.
“I can’t wait for Nakumatt to get back on their feet, I have shopped here for 10 years,always was a good and fun experience, I have tried shopping elsewhere because of lack of some items but I am driven nuts! The experience is never as good as Nakumatt! Cheering you on for the best shopping experience and wishing you the best,” said Ms Sarah Mwara on Nakumatt’s Facebook page Sunday.
Susanne Atieno, said, “I love Nakumatt l wish you get back to your feet once again I miss the old Nakumatt where you can find everything under one roof I pray that you revive back.”
Nakumatt as it aims to live upto its slogan, ‘All under one roof – You need it, we’ve got it’, time will tell when it will be out of the woods in a rapidly changing retail industry.