By David Ssempijja
EAST African supermarket chain Nakumatt Holdings has bought Payless Supermarket.
â€œWe bought them (Payless Supermarket) out. Stores formerly occupied by Payless will be operating under our management in a few days.
â€œWe are making infrastructural improvements,â€ Nakumatt Uganda branch manager, Joshua Ngâ€™angâ€™a, said.
He said Nakumatt retained 80 former Payless workers who are undergoing â€œintensive training to gain the required standards.â€
Ngâ€™angâ€™a disclosed that some sh1.34b had been injected in the takeover and premise refurbishment.
Branches taken over include the Bugolobi and Bukoto.
â€œBut these small branches will just keep our name in these locations as we plan to set up bigger stores in the same areas,â€ Ngâ€™angâ€™a revealed.
It is not yet clear what struck Payless Supermarket out of business.
â€œPayless Supermarket could have faced problems like any other business and management found out that business could not go beyond a certain point.
â€œThat is why Nakumatt is taking over,â€ one of the former managers noted.
For the last two weeks, â€˜beehiveâ€™ activities have been going on in locations formerly occupied by Payless Supermarket with banners reading â€˜Nakumatt opening soon.â€™
Nakumatt runs over 23 stores in major towns like Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Meru, Kisii, Kampala and Kigali.
It opened its doors to Kampala shoppers in June last year with a $3m (about sh6.6b) initial investment, initiating a new 24-hour service.
This forced major competitors in the Kampala upscale areas to shape up.