Uchumi exits Tanzania market

Uchumi has closed it's stores in Tanzania in as newly appointed CEO makes sweeping changes. Photo: contributed

Uchumi has closed it’s stores in Tanzania in as newly appointed CEO Julius Kipng’etich makes sweeping changes. Photo: contributed

Kenyan supermarket chain Uchumi has pulled out of Tanzania and Uganda in an effort to cut losses.

The four outlets in Tanzania had not made any profit in the last five years, says Uchumi’s new chief executive officer Julius Kipng’etich.

“They have been draining the parent operations,” says Kipng’etich, speaking to the Star in Kenya.

While stores in Uganda and Tanzania make up less than five percent of retail chain operations they accounted for 25 percent of operating costs, says Kipng’etich.

According to the Star, Tanzanian Uchumi stores posted pre-tax losses of 2.6 billion TSH (1.2 million USD) last year.

“All stores in both markets are now closed.”

Two under-performing stores in Kenya have also been closed and more closures are expected.

Earlier this week, staff gathered outside an Uchumi supermarket in Dar es Salaam, fearing they would not receive their wages.

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