Sunday, February 25, 2018

Uchumi exits Sarit Centre after 30 years stay

Customers and workers stranded outside Uchumi supermarket outlet in Kisii stand outside the shop on March 21,2016 after the supermarket management decided to close it. (Photo: Denish Ochieng/ Standard) By Patrick Alushula 
Cash-strapped retailer Uchumi Supermarkets is exiting Sarit Centre bringing to an end a three-decade old business story in the iconic building. According to Chief Operating Officer Andrew Dixon, the retailer will close the crucial Hyper branch today as a cost management strategy.
This was also confirmed by Sarit Centre management. ALSO READ: Uchumi’s losses widen to Sh895 million In a statement, the management said it was looking at cost-effective retail space as it streamlines its store portfolio in line with the turnaround strategy. “Uchumi has been located at the Sarit Centre for over 30 years and we wish to thank the management for their support over the years and also grateful to all our loyal customers,” said Mr Dixon. In what could point to more branch closures lined up, Mr Dixon added that the retailer will be exploring possible “relocation at other venues for our most unviable stores” to cost-effective locations. Empty shelves Back in July, at the peak of cash crisis that saw its workers stage protests over missed pay, workers in the ranks of supervision told Weekend Business that then CEO had been summoned by the management of Sarit Centre over empty shelves in a building that is frequented by high-end customers. In June 2016, revenue from the branch was Sh42.77 million being a drop of 67.1 per cent from Sh130.1 million in June 2015. The branch was once the best performer for the retailer and at times able to cover all the overheads in a month. On Thursday, the retailer announced that its half year losses had widened by 63 per cent to Sh895 million. ALSO READ: Uchumi posts Sh895 million loss

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