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Uchumi closes 5 branches, fires 253

21 March 2016, 22:07

Nairobi - Uchumi Supermarkets Limited on Monday shut down five of its outlets in Kenya to cut costs.

Chief executive Julius Kipng’etich said in a report on the Daily Nation, the closure of the branches is aimed at reducing the retailer’s operational costs enabling it to concentrate its efforts on a leaner structure.

Mr Kipng’etich defended the shock move even at a time the loss-making retailer is implementing a growth strategy, insisting that the publicly traded retailer “is well on track to recovery”.

“Their closure will enable us channel our resources to fewer branches and optimize operations for maximum gain,” said Mr Kipng’etich.

Read alsoWhy Peter Kenneth turned down Jubilee

The Standard reported further that the affected branches are Taj Mall, Embu, Eldoret Sugarland, Nakuru and Kisii.

The closures will render redundant 253 employees, who will be laid off.

Mr Kipng’etich said the retail chain had adhered to all the required legal and statutory requirements in implementing the decision.

In November 17 last year, the retailer made shock exits from neighbouring Uganda and Tanzania to stem what Dr Kipng’etich said then was excessive financial bleeding.

Before then, the retailer had closed two of its outlets in Kenya — one in Rongai and the other in Syokimau.

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- News24

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