The Daily Nation today (December 17) has a story about the closing of Nakumatt after efforts to revive it appear to have been abandoned. The Nation has learnt that the chain has now sold what was left of the six branches to rival Naivas Supermarket in a deal that will see the Nakumatt brand completely disappear by the end of the year.
The last five years have been a roller-coaster period for Nakumatt. Here are some highs and lows taken from news reports and press releases.
May 2014: Nakumatt opens its 46th branch in Kitale and its third in the North Rift area – a Kshs 140 million investment, located at the new Mega Centre mall.
August 2014: Nakumatt opens its 50th branch in Arusha, Tanzania.
July 2015: Nakumatt unveils its store at the refurbished Westgate mall that had been closed following a terrorist attack in September 2013. The media tour will be followed by a tree planting session at the new Mwanzi-Kabete road link recently developed by Westgate Mall Management in association with the Nairobi City County, to ease traffic flow.
March 2016: Nakumatt opened its 59th store at Kakamega and its second in that town. That month, Nakumatt also opened Sports Planet, a sporting gear store at Westgate.
May 2016: Nakumatt opened its 60th and 61st branches respectively – at Emali town along the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway and in Nairobi’s Kitisuru suburb.
December 2016: Nakumatt management projects having a good festive season stretching from Diwali through Christmas, with expectations to improve sales by 34% over the previous year at their 62 branches across East Africa. They later opened their 63rd store, a 60,000 square foot space, at the new NextGen Mall in Nairobi located on Mombasa Road to serve customers in the South B and South C areas. They are also at an advanced stage to open a 64th one in Kigali, Rwanda.
October 2017: The directors of Nakumatt Holdings apply to the High Court on October 30 for the company to go into voluntary administration under the Insolvency Act. They propose that Peter Kahi of PKF Consulting be appointed as an Independent Administrator to turn round the business and work with Nakumatt’s creditors. The directors chose this route as the administration will enable Nakumatt to be maintained as a going concern and to continue to trade and generate revenue to meet its ongoing financial obligations. Under the Act, while a company is under administration, there is a moratorium on certain legal processes, including a moratorium against enforcement of security over the company’s property.
The notice reads that rival Tusker Mattresses (Tuskys) has undertaken to investment in and merge with Nakumatt. Also, that banks are supportive of this move and the Competition Authority of Kenya has been notified of the Tuskys deal.
December 2018: Nakumatt moves into a smaller 40,000 square foot store that they had first occupied in 1989 at Mega Mall, along Uhuru Highway. This is in the building next to their former “Mega hypermarket” that was one of their flagship stores. Nakumatt now operates just seven restocked branches in Nairobi, Nakuru and Kisumu under a business recovery programme dubbed Nakumatt BounceBack, that is supported by scores of local and international suppliers keen on seeing the firm back on track.
September 2019: A second meeting between the Administrator and Nakumatt’s creditors fails to happen as the financial audit of the firm for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019 have not been completed. Earlier the Court had directed an audit be done, and the firm of Parker Randall Eastern Africa had been selected after a bidding process. The Administrator also disclosed that four stores operating at break-even levels, a status that the other two would attain by year-end.
January 2020: 92% of Nakumatt creditors voted on Tuesday January 7 to dissolve the supermarket chain. A liquidation plan was presented by Peter Kahi, the court-appointed administrator who said any further efforts would be very costly. The creditors are owned Ksh 38 billion and the administrators will share about KSh422 million received from the sale of six Nakumatt branches to Naivas. Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) KSh3.6 billion, KCB Group Ksh1.9 billion, Bank of Africa KSh328 million, UBA KSh126, Guaranty Trust Bank KSH104 million. Brookside Dairy Limited KSh457 million, Outstand Logistics Limited KSh415 million, Norkan Investments KSh338 million, New KCC KSh290 million, Redstar International KSh261 million. – Via Khusoko