Majid Al Futtaim, the exclusive holder of French retailer Carrefour’s franchise in Kenya, last year recorded Sh8.2 billion in sales from its local business riding on accelerated expansion of the supermarket chain. Carrefour, which launched its first store in Nairobi in 2016, now operates four branches in the Kenyan capital – at Two Rivers Mall, Thika Road Mall, the Junction Mall, and The Hub, Karen. The Dubai-based conglomerate made public its Kenya annual sales in a newly-released financial report that also quantifies its local assets as of December 2017 at Sh3.1 billion.
“The group is fully focused on the Carrefour 2022 plan, with ambitious action plans currently being implemented in all of its geographies,” Alexandre Bompard, the chief executive of Carrefour, said last week. “Carrefour is back on the offensive and is investing to resume growth.”
Majid Al Futtaim’s sales in Kenya are a pointer to a highly profitable Carrefour business which, with ongoing expansion drive, could see the supermarket chain morph into a multi-billion shilling operation. The Sh8.2 billion recorded from four branches is in line with Carrefour’s earlier disclosure that its maiden outlet at The Hub Karen made Sh1.54 billion in revenues in the first seven months of operation (May to December 2016).
The supermarket chain is slowly emerging as a top alternative for customers in the wake of fumbles by former market leader Nakumatt Supermarkets. Carrefour, the world’s second-largest supermarket chain after Wal-Mart — last week announced plans to open its fifth store at Nairobi’s Sarit Centre in April, taking over space recently vacated by struggling Uchumi supermarkets.
The French retailer, however, faces stiff competition in this expansion bid, with local supermarkets Tuskys, Naivas and smaller players like Quick Mart also seemingly hungry to expand their footprint locally.
South Africa’s Game and Shoprite have also announced plans to expand locally, promising Carrefour a bruising battle in the marketplace. Botswana’s Choppies, which gained a local foothold by taking over several Ukwala Supermarket stores, also plans to open new outlets countrywide.
Majid Al Futtaim chief executive officer Alain Bejjani last month revealed that the business is looking at expanding into the East African region, seeking to replicate the success enjoyed in Kenya. “With regards to Africa,…we are looking to expand beyond Kenya as well,” Mr. Bejjani said in a statement.
Plans to expand Carrefour’s footprint comes at a time Kenyan retailers Nakumatt and Uchumi have beat a hasty retreat from foreign markets as their fortunes dwindled.