Africa’s biggest supermarket chain Shoprite Holdings is set to lay off 115 workers as it shuts its Nyali Branch this month, signalling inability to crack the Kenyan market.
This is just three months after it closed its Waterfront branch in Karen putting 104 individuals out of work.
The South African owned retailer has already notified the Kenya Union of Commercial Food and Allied Workers (KUCFAW) and invited them for a consultative meeting on Wednesday with their terminations set at the end of this month.
“Endeavors to continue trading at the Nyali branch is no longer viable,” the notice to the union signed by Human Resources manager Carolyne Walubengo.
There are currently 115 people employed at the Nyali branch of which 92 are members of KUCFAW.
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“It should be noted that the branch will cease trading operations on a sooner date but this will not prejudice employees as they will continue to continue the services at said branch until the termination date,” added Walubengo.
The retail chain, which has a presence in 15 African countries, opened its first store in Kenya in 2018, aiming to take advantage of the gaps in Kenya’s retail sector after the collapse of top supermarkets including Uchumi and Nakumatt.
But now indications are that it may exit Kenya.
The coronavirus pandemic, among other factors, have worsened retailers' woes and heavily reduced footfall.
Foreign retailers such as Shoprite have been complaining that landlords are demanding dollar-based rents.