Kenya’s oldest retailer, Uchumi Supermarkets will not shut down, Chief Executive Officer has assured.
Julius Kipng’etich said the retailer will continue operating and urged the general public and customers to continue shopping with its branches, as the supermarket tries to stabilize.
This follows fears that the retailer, which is grappling to settle huge debts, would shut down after it lost a case in court on Friday last week.
San Giorgio Ltd sued the retailer following huge debts, making other creditors to join hands and sue Uchumi, a situation that is putting the supermarket in a worst financial state.
The company owes suppliers Sh3.6 billion, with another Sh2.5 billion in debt held by banks with charged assets against a total asset base of Sh6.1 billion.
“We are not shutting down as reported on Friday by some media outlets and neither are we closing. We are firmly conducting our businesses to satisfy our customers. Even though we have financial issues affecting us, we are doing our best to settle each of our creditors and stabilize the retailer,” said Kipng’etich on Citizen TV.
Speaking during an interview on Monday, he added that they currently have the some of Sh3.6 billion total supply amount, but they hope to repay all the monies owed, including from financial lenders.
“Our creditors should know we are willing and ready to pay them back. Right now our lawyers are battling it out with some of our suppliers who we are owing, and we hope everything will be well at last,” he noted.
Due to its financial troubles, Uchumi has closed down several branches and profitable outlets in the country, Uganda and Rwanda, to raise finances to stabilize the once giant retailer.