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By Moses Kaketo

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Retail supermarket giant, Nakumatt is soon opening up an outlet in Ntinda opposite St Luke Church. The retail giant joins giants Tuskys and Capital Shoppers to tap into a promising market. The two players are reportedly earning more from Ntinda than any of their other branches. As such, the entry of Nakummat in Ntinda means more competition, particularly for Capital Shoppers since the new branch will be next to theirs. Even more, the outlet is on the right side of the road.

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Taken together, the two leading giants in Uganda’s retail supermarkets-Nakumatt and Capital Shoppers have drawn the battle lines. It remains to see who will win.

Capital Shoppers, the only indigenous supermarket competing with foreign giants-Nakumatt, Tuskys, Game and the struggling Shoprite. The Supermarket has been described as the fastest growing supermarket in Uganda having started as a small store in Nakasero. Today, the retail giant boasts of four larges braches, and still growing. The strategic location for all her outlets and strategic partnerships have been handy in pushing its growth.

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In Ntinda for example, the outlet is strategically located to tap into the middle class in Ntinda, Naalya, Kyambogo, Namugongo and the surrounding areas. Because of the heavy traffic jam in Ntinda town, people tend to branch off around stretcher connect to Kiwatule and Namugongo. If this norm continues, Nakumatt is likely to lose out since the branch is located close to Ntinda town.

Capital Shoppers Ntinda managed to pull other auxiliary business from which it is benefiting: these include Commercial Banks, a dancing hall, washing bay among others. Thus, as people come to dance, bank, wash their cars, they end up inside Capital Shoppers. The sales are repordetly very good.

The other reason for her success is the fact that Capital Shoppers import and sell high quality items, which are said to be matching the tastes of the shoppers particularly those of Ntinda. Many of the items are imported from Dubai.

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On the other hand, sources say much the of items Nakumatt is selling (in some branches) may not be ‘‘suitable’’ for shoppers in Ntinda and the neighbourhood who are said to be very selective.

Unconfirmed sources tell Newz Post that much of the items the supermarket sells are imported from Kenya. Nakumatt management may have to closely watch out on what they stock for the Ntinda Outlet if they are to compete favourably with Capital Shoppers.

It is for this reason, what the rather small supermarket in Kiwatule-Cynibel Supermarket is fast growing. They sell high quality goods which has attracted the shoppers. You can hardly get parking in the evening-the parking space is full to capacity.

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Capital Shoppers operates a very competitive loyalty programme. The promotion starts for as low as Ugx. 5,000. On the other hand, Nakumatt sales promotion starts at Ugx. 10,000. Also, Capital Shoppers gives up to 4 percent discount compared to 1.5 to 02 percent discount offered by rivals.

Is Nakumatt willing to come down, to match the rivals? These are some of the issues, which the once mighty South Africa based Shoprite undermined and they are now in the final stages of existing the Ugandan Market. Nakumatt may also have to watch out on their prices-a sample survey reveals their prices are relatively high compare to competitors.

Like Chinua Achebe notes, the more you climb a hill, the more you expose your private parts. The writing is on the wall- Nakummatt must be ready for the big war.

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They are going into a market (Ntinda) which is not only very, selective but also competitive-Ntinda and neighbourhood is the home of Uganda middle class-it is no wonder nearly all 26 commercial banks either have a branch or ATM in the area. The quality of housing and mushrooming private schools in these areas speak volumes.

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Enter Nakumatt

Most people do their shopping the evening; however, some of Nakummat locations are difficult to go in-they are on the wrong side of the road. Take the example of Bukoto and Naalya and Now Ntinda.

According to analysts, Ntinda branch would be perfect choice; however, the Ntinda junction has heavy traffic especially in the evening. As thus, people tend to branch off around UNEB and connect to Kiwatule through to Kira and Namugongo. Given this, Nakumatt branch may not benefit from this location. Meanwhile Captial Shoppers will continue to benefit.

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That aside, Nakummatt Bukoto lacks proper parking. The supermarket is too small inside. It has been described as congested which affects shopping. Shoppers prefer outlets with space, which makes shopping lively.

For unknown reasons, most Ugandans prefer to park in open space. Nakummat Ntinda lacks ample parking. Much parking of the parking space is underground, which is normally taken up by the tenants.

When it comes to parking, Capital Shoppers Ntinda has advantage over Nakumatt; the outlet has ample open surface parking which can accommodate over 100 cars. Not to mention the underground.

Nakumatt’s competitive advanatage

Nakummat operating hours are said to be very convenient. Some of her branches Like Village mall, operate 24 hours. Tusky’s Ntinda outlet is reportedly doing well compared to her other outlets simply because they operate 24 hours.

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We were unable to establish whether Nukumatt Ntinda will operate 24 hours. If they do, Capital Shoppers, which does not operate beyond midnight, will be beaten without trouble.

Tusky’s be aware

With more competitors joining the lucrative Ntinda market, Tusky is which does not sell alcoholic drinks may have to revive this policy.

Market reports indicate of late beer companies sell more through supermarkets. Following the twin bombings in Kyandondo and Ethiopian village, a few years ago, more Ugandans now prefer to buy beer and drink from home. It is obvious one would wish to do all his shopping, from the same place. Tusky’s may lose some customers as a result to competition.

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Tuskys’ Ntinda’s other problem is the limited parking and heavy traffic, which starts around Kadic Hospital in Bukoto especially in the evening.

Tusky’s exceptional customer service

Tusky’s Ntinda is spacious inside and fully stocked. Beyond the consumer goods, the store has other items like furniture for home and office. Most important, they have free delivery service and installation service for bulky items like furniture.

The Verdict

It is obvious Nakumatt should have opened up an outlet in Ntinda yesterday. However, analysts say, opening an outlet is one thing and making it succeed is another. Management may have to do some homework to push the sales.

Industry experts agree on one thing, Nakummat success in Ntinda will depend on number of factors such as ability to pull other business like commercial banks on the building. Already there is one bank-Tropical Bank. Unfortunately, the bank does not have customers to talk about.

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