Nakumatt plans niche stores to ward-off competition

Nakumatt holdings Wednesday launched its eighth departmental store which will exclusively stock sportswear.

Wednesday March 9 2016

A picture of one of Nakumatt supermarket outlets. Nakumatt supermarket will expand operations in Western Kenya next month after the retail chain acquired three stores from a rival. FILE PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A picture of one of Nakumatt supermarket outlets. Nakumatt holdings Wednesday launched its eighth departmental store which will exclusively stock sportswear. FILE PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By OTIATO GUGUYU
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Regional supermarket chain Nakumatt, may soon open doors of dedicated retail stores across East Africa in the next three years, a radical shift from its current model of business where it sells assorted goods under one store.

The supermarket Wednesday launched its eighth departmental store, Sports planet, which will exclusively stock sportswear and accessories.

Nakumatt holding is testing the concept at the Westgate Mall where eight standalone departmental stores covering a cross section of lifestyle needs including home appliances/electronics, Nakumatt Select, Nakumatt Supermarket-Home and essentials, Sleep Centre-bedroom furniture, Skechers, Clarks and Kids&co.

Nakumatt Holdings, business development lead, Neel Shah said you will soon see Nakumatt opening similar standalone stores even in locations where Nakumatt supermarkets are not necessarily located.

“Once we are successful we intend to expand to all major towns and cities across East Africa in the next two to three years,” Mr Shah said.

Nakumatt managers believe the departmental stores will offer them a competitive advantage through unique customer experience and handpicking segments that are underserved.

DESIGNER WEAR

Mr Shah said the Sh100 million venture at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi will stock high end designer wear and sports equipment for all ages.

He said this was the a first for sub-Sahara Africa that features an in store Golf Simulator machine to be manned by local Golf Pro.

“Sports Planet, stores, will be the home of quality leading global brands and is part of Nakumatt’s overall commitment to deepen formal retailing in this region,” Neel said.

Nakumatt say the sports segment is under served even as Kenyans grow increasingly conscious of their health and lifestyle which boosts sports sales.

Mr Vivec Mehra owner, Salute Holdings Ltd who sources the equipment for Nakumatt says that sportswear sales are growing especially off the internet as customer experience is key in pushing the products.

Nakumatt says that sportswear industry is a growing in the United States among other global markets, with sales for sporting goods topping Sh4.3 trillion ($43 billion) in 2013, up from just over Sh3 trillion ($30 billion) in 2005.

Of these sales in 2013, almost a third came from athletic apparel and over 22 percent were generated from sporting goods equipment.

However, almost a quarter of the purchases of these goods were made in sporting goods stores in comparison to 13 percent which were made online.

Sports Planet, has secured local brand licenses to resell sports gear and equipment marketed under the Proform, NordicTrack, FreeMotion, Puma, Adidas and Nike brands. The store will also stock a variety of Arena, Babolat, Head, Grays, Gilbert, Mitre and Callaway Golf products among others.

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