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Kenya's retail sector seeks development policy

For the fifth year running, the National Economic Survey has identified the retail and wholesale trade sectors as key growth drivers of Kenya's economy. In 2011, the wholesale and retail trade sector showed a growth of 7.3%, beating the manufacturing, building and construction, agriculture, transport and communication sectors.
The retail sector was second after the financial intermediation sector after the transport and communication sector at 18.5% and 20% respectively.

Retail sector shows positive growth


While the sector continues to show positive growth, players have petitioned the Kenya government to consider formulating a retail sector development policy. To accelerate development in the sector, Thiagarajan Ramamurthy, strategy and operations director of regional retail outlet, Nakumatt, said the country needs a retail development policy to guide its sustained growth including manpower development and formally recognise the sector as a key economic driver.

The retail sector, says Ramamurthy, is Kenya's leading formal and informal employer and deserves to be officially recognised and supported to grow further. Nakumatt Holdings has in recent months invested in enhancing its service delivery.

In April, the outlet opened Planet Media, a multimedia store. The retail outlet has partnered with local and global suppliers to develop brand stores and custom experience centres that allow shoppers to enjoy product applications in various settings. The centres will be developed under Nakumatt's Shop n' Shop concept and will also provide technical advisory services to shoppers, effectively providing a one-stop shop for various lifestyle products.

About Carole Kimutai: @CaroleKimutai

Carole Kimutai is a writer and editor based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is currently an MA student in New Media at the University of Leicester, UK. Follow her on Twitter at @CaroleKimutai.
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