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Kenya's supermarkets eye Chinese consumers to boost revenues

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-10-26 09:45

NAIROBI — Kenya's supermarkets are intensifying efforts to lure Chinese consumers to boost their revenues, a lobby group said on Wednesday.

Retail Trade Association of Kenya (RETRAK) CEO Wambui Mbarire told Xinhua in an interview that local supermarket chains are stocking products that appeal to the Chinese community.

"The retail sector is seeking to expand its revenues by tapping into the growing Chinese population in Kenya," Mbarire said.

In the past decade, the size of the Chinese population has expanded due to growing Sino-Kenya relations. China has now emerged as the largest financier of infrastructure projects in Kenya.

Mbarire noted that a lot of the local supermarkets especially in the urban areas have dedicated shelves for their Chinese customers.

She noted that Chinese consumers have high purchasing power and will therefore help the retailers diversify their revenues.

Kenya's supermarket sector is facing challenges with some of the leading retailers having huge debts to their suppliers. Leading regional supermarket chain Nakumatt has so far closed six of its branches since the beginning of the year.

Mbarire said that formal supermarkets currently account for 30 percent of the total retail trade in Kenya.

According to RETRAK, the growth of formal retail sector is set to expand due to increasing population as well as urbanization.

"People are being draw to shop in supermarkets as they offer consumers an opportunity to conveniently buy all household goods in one place," she added.

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