Kenyan market leader Naivas sets its sights on smaller cities

Naivas has revealed plans to open four new stores during the coming months. Two of these will be in Nairobi (near the Yaya Centre shopping mall and on the Eastern Bypass), with the other two set for Mombaba and Embu, which is located 120km north of Nairobi. Naivas already has six outlets in Mombasa and one in Embu out of 57 nationwide.

These openings are part of a wider strategy to open more stores outside of the capital. “Our target is to serve each county headquarters [Kenya is divided into 47 counties], but as of now, we have a pipeline that will ensure we also tap into rapidly urbanising areas, such as Ngong, Kitengela, Ongata Rongai, and Machakos [towns on the fringes of Nairobi],” commented Naivas chief operating officer Willy Kimani.

The Sagaci Research View: With former market leader Nakumatt having closed all but one of its stores outside of Nairobi and Botswana-based Choppies recently announcing plans to exit the Kenyan market, Naivas sees an opportunity for growth smaller urban centres and Nairobi’s satellite towns. Meanwhile, the grocery retail market in the capital is steadily growing more competitive, with international players Carrefour and Shoprite becoming more established and the recent merger of Quickmart and Tumaini creating a significant new domestic player.

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If you want to know more about Naivas’ operations, strategy, and expansion plans in Kenya, you may be interested in Sagaci’s Retailer Research Report for the company.