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VENTURES AFRICA – Kenya’s largest retail chain Nakumattt will launch its E-commerce unit early 2014, as looks to increase its market share Africa’s booming online retail space.
“We’re open to anything if the opportunity is good,” Atul Shah recently said in an interview with the Financial Times.
The Nakumatt chain, which is worth an estimated Sh34 billion ($400 million), will now compete for market share with already existing players like Uchumi, Jumia and OLX.com.
The online retail business is quickly gathering momentum in Kenya, and indeed in sub-Saharan Africa, partly as a result of growing mobilemoney transfer platform and the increasing number of smartphone users.
Online retailer Jumia for one, has been able to expand into Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Côte d’Ivoire, and has also recently entered Kenya.
According to the MD of Nakumatt’s Kenyan unit, Nick Miller, expanding into Kenya was natural after achieving success in Nigeria, Africa’s second largest economy.
Meanwhile, Nakumatt has opened five new retail stores in commemorating with Kenya@50 as part of the national celebrations.
Shah confirmed that the launch of the ultra-modern stores was pushed to coincide with the country’s independence anniversary. The openings also marks a major feat for the retailer which outfitted them for use in just 50 days, according to Shah.