It’s been barely 6 months since South Africa’s giant retailer Shoprite opened a branch at Karen Waterfront mall, and now they are shutting it down.
The retailer, which is Africa’s biggest by store count, has announced that it will close its branch in Karen, in the process laying off 104 employees. The management has informed relevant unions of their intention and the coming job cuts.
“Endeavour to continue trading at the Waterfront branch is no longer viable,” Shoprite said in a notice to the Kenya Union of Commercial Food and Allied Workers (KUCFW).
“It is envisaged that the extent of the redundancy will impact all employees at the said branch. There are currently 104 persons employed at the branch of which 74 are KUCFW members.”
Here’s a statement from the Waterfront management announcing the news.
The Waterfront branch was its fourth in Kenya since opening its first store at Westgate in 2018.
It is unclear what could have necessitated this action, especially coming so early in its occupancy. Normally, big businesses with lots of capital investment go for many months or years before a decision to pull the plug is made.
With the Waterfront closure, Shoprite now has 3 remaining branches in Kenya – Westgate, Garden City and Nyali City Mall.
It is unclear whether any of these branches is in danger of suffering the same fate.