Choppies Supermarket is Closing Down, Who is Next?

By Carlos Onyango / July 9, 2019



Supermarkets - choppies

Choppies supermarket is yet another retail store struggling with stock shortage leading to the closure of some of its outlets.

The supermarket with its main stores in Botswana is facing a financial crisis and has had its Kiambu town branch closed down just days after closure of the Bungoma town branch.

In a statement, the Kenya Union of Commercial, Food and Allied Workers (KUCFAW) Secretary General, Boniface Kavuvi said that Choppies workers have not been paid in full to date. Company has also failed to pay suppliers for a while and that explains the closure of some branches and empty shelves on others. The supermarket is now dealing with similar issues faced by Nakumatt and Uchumi.

Nakumatt had 65 stores in most East African countries as of December 2015. In October 2017 the company ran out of funds and did not pay rents or wages. 60 stores were closed. As of August 2018, there were just five stores all of which were in Kenya. Nakumatt now has less than 500 Employees.

Uchumi, on the other hand, is struggling to come back on its feet. A government-led rescue plan has enabled it to recollect and the retail got re-listed by Nairobi Securities Exchange.

Choppies had its woes at the peak last year when Botswana Stocks Exchange and Johannesburg Stocks exchange stopped trading its shares. This came after the retailer had failed to release financial results at the end of June 30 2018.

Another challenge struck Choppies in May this year when the members of the board unanimously agreed on suspending the Chief Executive Officer, Ramachandran Ottapathu.

The board had earlier announced that it would do some forensic investigations and give its recommendations later.

Read:

The chain store was really doing well with operations in seven African countries but currently has only 48 stores operating from 260.

In Kenya, Choppies took over Ukwala supermarkets in 2016 and has barely survived for four years in the Kenyan competitive environment.

Seemingly, the crisis which is relatable to that of Nakumatt and Uchumi is brought about by wrangles at the management levels and consistent revenue losses by the firm.





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