Ex-Naivas boss Willy Kimani launches retail outfit

Former Naivas Supermarkets Chief Commercial Officer Willy Kimani has launched a new retail concept of affordable stores targeting the Eastlands markets in Nairobi. The retail concept, dubbed ‘Jaza’ (Swahili for “Fill up”), is being marketed as a discount store aimed at helping households cope with the current tough economic times.

Kenyans have become deal hunters, seeking cheaper pricing across retailers and discount stores due to the rise in inflation. While supermarkets boast economies of scale by buying large stocks from suppliers, costs, including floor space and location in expensive real estate, often make products pricier than those in smaller, well-run discount stores.

“I saw an opportunity in the general trade market and came up with a concept set to offer consumers everyday affordable pricing, considering the current macroeconomic situation. As a business, this branch opening marks the kick-off of the retailer’s expansion plans,” said Mr Kimani.

The former Naivas supermarket boss is taking on his former employer, which currently operates 100 stores backed by private equity money. Mr Kimani, who also headed Uchumi, says the Buruburu estate will host the fast Jaza outlet, even as his new outfit targets five stores by the end of the year.

The retail chain is set to open other outlets in Kayole Estate, Githurai 44, Gachie, Chokaa Embakasi area ahead of Christmas, even as it eyes more outlets in 2024. The new outlet is set to stock a wide variety of commodities, including dry foods, personal care products, and essential household items, as well as different beverages, affordably adopted for the region’s diverse customer base at a customer-friendly price.

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