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Uchumi plans 12 new stores in East Africa

Uchumi Supermarkets plans to open a dozen new branches across East Africa this year, to capture the growing number of middle class spenders in the region, its chief executive officer said on Friday.

Consumer demand is a motor of Africa’s economic and investment surge, and analysts see middle class buyers with swelling disposable income as fuelling this boom across the fast-growing region.

The retailer, which currently operates 37 stores in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, raised Sh895 million ($9.77 million) through a cash call last month to boost its working capital and to support expansion.

Uchumi will open five new branches in Kenya, one in Uganda and six in Tanzania by December, CEO Jonathan Ciano said, adding that the penetration of retail in the region was still very low.

“Retail is a very underdeveloped sector in the east African region,” he said.

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