By Eastern Correspondent
Naivas Supermarket has opened its 86th branch in Meru, joining seven other stores in the fast-growing town regarded as a hub in the Mt Kenya east region as it seeks to have a foothold in Mt Kenya region.
The retailer is the anchor tenant in the new Meru Greenwood Park, occupying 34,000 square feet of space in a mall also expected to host other major tenants including KFC and Java restaurants, according to Myspace Properties, the agent marketing the property.
Mr. Willy Kimani, Naivas’s Chief Commercial Officer said the opening of the outlet was driven by demand for a better shopping experience by area residents as the supermarket chain made a footprint in the region.
“We have always wanted to be here and we assure the people of Meru of good service. This is our first branch in this region and we are targeting Maua and Isiolo towns where we will open branches in the near future,” Mr. Kimani said on October 31, during the official opening.
Mr. Kimani said besides the outlet providing at least 110 direct jobs, the company would work with local suppliers who will provide an array of products including agricultural fresh produce.
“For us, it is not just about providing a platform for retail trade but complementing the lifestyles of those who seek our services by offering an experience through our excellent product selection delivered with a touch of authentic Kenyan hospitality,” he added.
Myspace Properties chief executive officer Mr. Mwenda Thuranira said the mall was centrally located in the region with prospects of attracting shoppers from the entire region.
“Tenants who have booked are doing businesses ranging from ladies and men’s clothing accessories boutiques, pharmacies, opticians, furniture, and Safaricom customer center among others,” Mr. Thuranira said.
The chief guest, Mr. Kenneth Gitonga, Meru Dairy Union CEO who spoke on behalf of other suppliers encouraged businessmen in the region to supply their goods to the retailer. He said Naivas had a good reputation in the retail sector since the company pays its suppliers on time.
Entering a market that two main retailers Nakumatt and Uchumi exited about three years ago, Naivas is faced with the challenge of capturing its customer base with innovative products and services. Other main supermarkets operating in Meru include Khetia’s, Magunas, Sayen, and Mathai.
“We are aware that two main stores were operating here and shut down but we are up to the task. The market has been tough but we will continue to work with all parties concerned including the local community where we will source some of our products,” Mr. Kimani said