Uchumi Supermarket closes Meru branch

An Uchumi outlet
An Uchumi Supermarket outlet. PHOTO/COURTESY

Troubled retailer Uchumi Supermarket on Wednesday closed its branch in Meru town in a move attributed to the retailer’s dwindling stock in the specific outlet.

According to a news report by the Business Daily, the branch has not been in operation for the past one week but it resumed operations on Wednesday morning only to be closed again later in the afternoon.

“We had closed last week due to failure of payment and no stock where the management told us to go home and report on Tuesday this week to check if stock would have come from the main office but we left in the afternoon due to no stock” a worker at the branch is quoted as saying by the Business Daily.

The Business Daily similarly reports that the branch in question was not being frequented by customers who preferred rival retailers over Uchumi given the supermarket’s shelves were nearly empty.

Despite this, the store’s management insists that they are in operation at the premises behind closed doors.

The revelation follows an announcement by the retailer last week in which the supermarket filed a creditors plan in the High Court of Kenya which outlined steps the retailer needed to save it from closing shop entirely.

Uchumi currently owes both suppliers and creditors Ksh. 3.6 billion and Ksh. 3 billion respectively. Among other things, the plan filed before the High Court by Uchumi called for the wavering of the aforementioned debt.

This week, the retailer also issued its suppliers an ultimatum to either accept thirty percent of what is owed to them or risk forfeiting the sum entirely because the retailer’s assets may not be able to clear the entire amount of debt that it owes to suppliers.

The request has however been rejected by the suppliers who have opted to take the matter to court.

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