Local retailer Naivas has moved to occupy the space previously hosting South African retailer Shoprite at the Waterfront Mall in Karen, granting access to wealthy clients in the high-end estate.
Naivas, which has been on an expansion trail in recent months, will open its 66th store at the Karen mall in mid-October, joining SA’s Game Stores as anchor clients at the shopping centre.
“We have not had a presence in the larger Karen area which has been a long-standing request by our shoppers, we are finally able to fulfil this with the new development,” said Naivas Chief Commercial Officer, Willy Kimani.
This will be the first Naivas store in the Karen area, and the outlet looks set to increase traffic to the Waterfront Mall, and trigger competition for retailers with Carrefour and Tuskys which are in close proximity to the mall.
In 2020, Naivas has opened new outlets in Kilimani, Mountain View, Kamakis, Syokimau and Kisumu, defying the effects of coronavirus pandemic that has forced Shoprite to exit the Kenyan market.
Naivas has raised Sh6 billion from the sale of a 30 percent stake to a consortium of investors, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), valuing the retailer at Sh20 billion.
The new capital injection is earmarked for expansion in the highly competitive local supermarket business that has attracted major players including the Majid Al Futtaim-backed Carrefour franchise.
“We have not had a presence in the larger Karen area which has been a long-standing request by our shoppers. We are finally able to fulfil this with the new development,” said Naivas chief commercial Officer, Willy Kimani.
The Waterfront Mall space became vacant after Shoprite, which is exiting the Kenyan market, closed its store less than six months after setting shop in the complex.
The family is seeking Sh520 million in lost rent from Shoprite Holdings, after the retail chain cut short its operations at the facility.
The Mugukus argued that they still have a 10-year contract with Shoprite, and that the lease agreements did not provide for termination.
“Naivas will be the latest addition to the Waterfront fraternity. This confirms our sustained commitment to continue offering Waterfront patrons a lasting experience all under one stable,” said Waterfront Karen director David Muguku.
“The partnership has been motivated by the need to continually offer shoppers at the mall a wide variety of brands.”