Uchumi Supermarkets

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Uchumi Supermarkets
Public company
Traded as KN: UCHM
Industry Retail trade
Founded 1975 (1975)
Headquarters Nairobi, Kenya
Key people
Catherine Ngahu
Julius Kipng’etich
Chief Executive Officer[1]
Products Supermarkets
Revenue Net Sales:US$165.4 million (KES:14.458 billion) (2014)
Increase Aftertax: US$4.398+ million (KES:384 million) (2014)[2]
Total assets US$78.8 million (KES:6.885 billion) (2014)
Number of employees
4,500+ (2015)[1]
Website uchumicorporate.co.ke

Uchumi Supermarkets, often referred to simply as Uchumi, is a Kenyan supermarket chain. The word uchumi means "economy" in Swahili.


Uchumi is headquartered in Kenya. As of September 2014, Uchumi was one of a number of Kenyan supermarket chains that serve the region, including market-leader Nakumatt, Tuskys, Ukwala, and Naivas. In June 2014, the company's assets were about US$78.8 million (KES:6.885 billion), with shareholder equity of approximately US$38.4 million (KES:3.357 billion).[3]


The company was founded in 1975, as a public limited liability company, by three Kenyan parastatal companies: Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation, Kenya Wine Agencies Limited (KWAL), and Kenya National Trading Corporation. The main objective at the time was to create outlets for the equitable distribution of commodities and to create retail outlets for Kenyan manufactures. In 1976, Uchumi's shareholders signed a management contract with Standa SPA, an Italian supermarket chain, to train Kenyans to run the new enterprise. The shares of the company stock were listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) in 1992.

Uchumi closed down, albeit temporarily, and was placed in receivership during June 2006 after 30 years of business.[4] It was simultaneously de-listed from the NSE. At the time, its closure was described as "one of the greatest corporate disasters in independent Kenya history".[5] A government-led rescue plan, however, was initiated and consequently five Uchumi outlets, all in Nairobi, were reopened on 15 July 2006 under interim management and a caretaker administrator.[6]

By January 2011, the retail chain had returned to profitability and applied to the Kenya Capital Markets Authority to re-list its shares on the NSE.[7] Approval to re-list on the NSE was granted in May 2011 and trading in the shares of Uchumi resumed on 31 May 2011.[8]


As of May 2014, the shares of stock of the retail chain are listed on the NSE, where they trade under the symbol "UCHM". The shares are also cross-listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange[9] and the Uganda Securities Exchange.[10] The company obtained regulatory approval to cross-list on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange, effective 15 August 2014.[11] The six largest shareholders in the company as of April 2015 were:[12]

Uchumi Supermarkets Stock Ownership
Rank Name of Owner Percentage Ownership
1 Jamii Bora Bank 15.8
2 Kenya's Ministry of Trade 14.6
3 Paul Wanderi Ndung’u 5.4
4 KWAL Holdings 4.3
5 Equity Nominees: Ac:00111 4.1
6 Karim Jamal 2.4
7 Others via the Stock Exchanges in eastern Africa 53.4
Total 100.00


As of November 2015, the supermarket chain maintained 24 outlets in Kenya:[13]

Branches in Kenya[edit]

List of Uchumi branches in Kenya:[14]

  1. City Square Hypermat – Aga Khan Walk, Nairobi
  2. Langata Hypermat – Langata Road, Nairobi
  3. Koinange Branch – Monrovia Street, Nairobi
  4. Capital Centre Hypermat - Mombasa Road, Nairobi
  5. Ngong Hypermat – Ngong Road, Nairobi
  6. Sarit Hypermat – Sarit Center, Westlands, Nairobi
  7. Tajj Mall Hypermat - Embakasi, Nairobi[15]
  8. Adams Arcade Branch - Ngong Road, Nairobi
  9. Buruburu Branch – Buru Buru Housing Estate, Nairobi
  10. Jipange Branch – Thika Road, Nairobi
  11. Jogoo Road Branch – Jogoo Road, Nairobi
  12. Nairobi West Branch – Nairobi West Shopping Center, Nairobi
  13. Ongata Rongai Branch – Ongata Rongai, Nairobi
  14. Westlands Branch – Westlands, Nairobi
  15. Eldoret Branch – Muliro Road, Downtown, Eldoret
  16. Eldoret-Sugarland Branch – Sugarland Building, Oloo Street, Eldoret
  17. Embu Branch – Cylet Plaza Building, Kubukubu Road, Embu
  18. Karatina Branch – Karatina, Nyeri
  19. Kericho Branch - Kericho
  20. Meru Branch – Kenyatta Road, Downtown Shopping District, Meru
  21. Kisii Branch – Kisii[16]
  22. Nakuru Branch – Mosque Road, Downtown, Nakuru[17]
  23. Juja Branch - Thika-Nairobi Highway, Juja
  24. Kisumu Branch - Kisumu[18]
  25. Limuru Branch - Limuru (In development)[19]
  26. Naivasha Branch - Naivasha (In development)
  27. Ukunda Branch - Ukunda (In development)

Closure of non-Kenyan stores[edit]

In June 2015, Uchumi fired its chief executive officer and chief financial officer at the time, for "misconduct and gross negligence".[20] In July 2015, the company hired a Nairobi-based consulting firm to probe employee theft at the retail chain.[21] In August 2015, a new CEO was hired.[22] In October 2015, the store chain closed down all its stores in Uganda and Tanzania, citing unprofitability.[23] In the process, 900 former employees were laid off in both counties,[24][25] of whom 400 were in Uganda.[26][27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gachiri, John (26 August 2015). "Uchumi Poaches Julius Kipng'etich from Equity for Top Job". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Staff, Reporter (8 September 2014). "Uchumi Posts KSh384 Million Profit, To Move Key Uganda Outlets". Business Daily Africa (Nairobi). Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  3. ^ Uchumi (September 2014). "Audited 30 June 2014 Financial Statement" (PDF). Uchumi Supermarkets. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Kenyan Shop Chain Shuts Its Doors". BBC News. 2 June 2006. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  5. ^ By Nairobian Writer, . (9 February 2014). "The man who tamed Kenya's 'greatest corporate disaster'". The Nairobian. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  6. ^ Uchumi, . "The History of Uchumi Supermarkets". Uchumi Supermarkets. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  7. ^ Wafula, David (26 January 2011). "Uchumi Plays Catch-Up In Battle for Shoppers". Business Daily Africa. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Wahome, Mwaniki (25 May 2011). "Uchumi Shares 'Expected' to Trade at Higher Value". Daily Nation. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  9. ^ Mugwe, David (14 October 2013). "Uchumi Supermarkets Becomes Third to Cross-List on Kigali Bourse". The EastAfrican. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  10. ^ Mugwe, David (13 November 2013). "Uchumi Shares Start Trading on Kampala Bourse". The EastAfrican. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  11. ^ Ciuri, Simon (5 August 2014). "Uchumi Gets Approval To Cross-List On Dar Bourse". Business Daily Africa (Nairobi). Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  12. ^ Juma, Victor (5 April 2015). "Kidero Exits Uchumi Top Shareholders' List". Business Daily Africa (Nairobi). Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  13. ^ Mutegi, Mugambi (25 November 2015). "Uchumi opens 24-hour outlet in Nairobi". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi. 
  14. ^ "List of Uchumi Branches In Kenya". Uchumi Supermarkets. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  15. ^ Wafula, Paul (4 April 2011). "Uchumi Revamps Board In Fight to Regain Top Slot". Business Daily Africa. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  16. ^ Star, Reporter (21 November 2011). "Uchumi Boasts New Outlets In Uganda, Tanzania". Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  17. ^ ., . (23 January 2011). "Kenya: Uchumi Back In Nakuru After Five-Year Absence". Daily Nation on The Web. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  18. ^ Ciuri, Simon (16 February 2014). "Uchumi Kicks off Expansion Plans With 4 New Branches". Business Daily Africa (Nairobi). Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  19. ^ Ciuri, Simon (27 January 2015). "Uchumi Set To Open Limuru, Naivasha Outlets". Business Daily Africa (Nairobi). Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  20. ^ Business Daily Writer (15 June 2015). "Uchumi sacks Ciano, CFO for 'gross misconduct, negligence'". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  21. ^ Ciuri, Simon (28 July 2015). "Ailing Uchumi hires HR firm to probe theft by employees". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  22. ^ David Evans, Humphrey Malalo and Edmund Blair (25 August 2015). "Kenya's Uchumi Supermarkets picks new CEO after predecessor sacked". Nairobi: Reuters.com. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  23. ^ Ngugi, Brian (14 October 2015). "Uchumi Supermarkets shuts down regional operations". Daily Nation. Nairobi. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  24. ^ Ciuri, Simon (14 October 2015). "Uchumi sacks 900 Uganda, Tanzania staff". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi. Retrieved 14 October 2015. 
  25. ^ Mutegi, Mugambi (15 October 2015). "Uchumi reveals KSh2.4bn drain by closed outlets". Business Daily Africa. Nairobi. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  26. ^ Semakula, Othman (14 October 2015). "400 Ugandans lose jobs as Uchumi exits Uganda". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  27. ^ Mark Keith Muhumuza, and Othman Semakula (20 October 2015). "Why Uchumi painfully closed Uganda, Tanzania operations". Daily Monitor. Kampala. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 

External links[edit]