Nakumatt and Uchumi continue their downward spirals

A number of suppliers have joined Githunguri Dairy in filing for Kenyan supermarket chain Uchumi to be wound up, while rival Nakumatt is faring little better.

More than 20 of Uchumi’s creditors are seeking to recover debts amounting to KES900 million (USD8.8 million). The retailer was also recently evicted from its headquarters in Nairobi Industrial Area due to rent arrears. Meanwhile, Nakumatt, Kenya’s other troubled supermarket chain, closed one of its oldest stores (Nakumatt Mega in Nairobi) during October, leaving it with just six branches.

The financial difficulties facing these two chains and their suppliers have led the Kenyan Ministry of Industry and Trade to propose rules aimed at reducing the average payment time for supermarket suppliers to 30 days from the current 180-240 days.

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