115 Workers Sent Home as Supermarket Shuts Down

File image of an aisle at Shoprite Supermarket at City Mall, Nyali
  • 115 workers at Shoprite Nyali, located at City Mall in Mombasa County, are set to lose their jobs as the supermarket issued them with notice of redundancy letters on Friday, July 31.

    According to the letter seen by kenyagist.com, the supermarket will be shutting down its Nyali branch.

    Workers were invited to a consultative meeting to be informed of the reasons behind the closure and to discuss any issues they might have.

    “It is contemplated that the intended date of termination on account of redundancy will be August 31, 2020. It should be noted that the branch will cease trading operations on a sooner date,” the letter signed by Human Resources Manager Carol Walubengo read in part.

    File image of an aisle at Shoprite Supermarket at City Mall, Nyali

    Walubengo further noted that the Kenya Union of Commercial, Food and Allied Workers (KUCFAW) had been notified of the process.

    Shoprite Kenya head office was yet to respond to queries made by kenyagist.com by the time of publication.

    The Nyali closure comes just a few months after it folded its Karen Waterfont Mall branch in Nairobi, rendering at least 100 employees jobless.

    Shoprite Checkers, a South African retail chain, has been trying to exit the Kenyan market citing unprofitability but this has seen them face legal battles as landlords and the taxman look to collect various amounts.

    Karen Waterfront Mall, where Shoprite was the anchor tenant, sought to claim Ksh520 million, or the equivalent of ten years rent.

    The dispute stemmed from Shoprite initiating termination of a 10-year lease signed only six months before, in November 2019. The mall’s owners demanded that they pay the full amount before being allowed to leave.

    The redundancies at Shoprite further add to grim economic statistics on lay-offs in Kenya during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    According to the results of a survey by Tifa Research, over forty percent of Kenyans living in Nairobi’s lower-income areas have completely lost their source of income due to job losses since the first case of Covid-19 was reported in the country in mid-March.

    It also found that 69 percent of Kenyans had witnessed a reduction in earnings over the same period.

    To cope with the tough times, respondents in the survey disclosed that they had reacted by cutting down on expenditures including food and drinks, rent, entertainment, clothing and transportation.

    Nairobi residents walking to work due to increased cost of transport within the city.
    Nairobi residents walking to work due to the increased cost of transport within the city.

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