Kenya’s retail supermarket, Uchumi is a brand that evokes pride and patriotism, but over the last few years, the renowned retail ‘powerhouse’ has had a lot of things go against its repute.
Available figures as of September 2014 show that the retailer was among Kenyan supermarket chains that served the East Africa region while in June of the same year, the company’s assets stood at US$78.8 million with shareholder equity of approximately US$38.4 million.
Uchumi began operations in 1975 as a public limited company by three state owned firms namely; Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation, Kenya Wine Agencies (KWAL) and Kenya National Trading Corporation.
The main objective at the time was to create outlets for the equitable distribution of commodities and to create retail outlets for Kenyan manufactures.
A year later after its formation, Uchumi’s shareholders signed a management contract with Standa SPA– an Italian retail supermarket with an aim of raining Kenyans to run the new enterprise and 16 years later the company listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in 1992.
Uchumi closed down, albeit temporarily, and was placed under receivership in June 2006 after 30 years of operations.
Its closure was described as ‘one of the greatest corporate disasters in independent Kenya history’
Get the full story in The African Business Fortune Mag March,2016 Edition
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