Uchumi, Specialty Partners Bury Hatchet


By Claire Wanja/KNA

Uchumi Supermarkets Limited and its specialty partners have agreed to continue their relationship under a new mutually acceptable framework that benefits all.

Uchumi Chief Executive, Dr. Julius Kipng’etich, on Monday led senior management to the meeting with the partners in which both parties agreed that the current impasse was not good for their businesses.

“We need you as partners and are willing to immediately start working together with those who are ready,” said Dr. Kipng’etich.

The CEO said the organization had decided to review all contracts with its specialty partners because there were numerous discrepancies in the current arrangements.

“The new contracts must be a win-win for each of us unlike the current situation where Uchumi loses out because of skewed terms,” said Dr. Kipng’etich.

The CEO said Uchumi and its partners will agree merchandising standards and store designs that would ensure efficient utilization of space.

He said the parties would have to agree terms on sharing of both fixed and variable costs.

“We have set up a committee led by the Chief Operating Officer, Willy Kimani, to sit with each partner category and agree uniform terms so that partners offering similar goods are treated in the same way,” Dr. Kipng’etich added.

The CEO said both Uchumi and its partners will adopt a joint marketing plan to boost sales financed through a cost-sharing model.

“We will, however, reserve some categories of goods which will only be provided by Uchumi at our stores because we consider them to be key to our business. Such goods would include fresh food, dry food and fast moving consumables,” he added.

In response, the partners through their leader, Jimi Gitau of Booker Tee Enterprises Limited, said they were ready to put aside their differences and begin working with Kenya’s oldest retailer.

“We are ready to sit down and negotiate because Uchumi is important to us and to Kenyans as a whole,” he said.

Both parties agreed to hold regular meetings going forward to ensure a smooth working relationship.


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