(A view of the newly-opened Khetia’s Supermarket Kanduyi along the ever busy Kanduyi-Uganda highway as captured. PHOTO/COURTESY)
For the last decade, the number of supermarket chains in Western Kenya has been on the rise with several nationally-recognized retails also attempting to find roots in the region.
However, when one would expect the competition to weaken one of the most legendary chain in the region, the said Supermarket continue to even sprout her roots to various towns in the region. That supermarket is Khetia’s Supermarket.
On Monday, Khetia’s Supermarket announced the opening of yet another new branch in Kanduyi along the ever busy Kanduyi-Uganda highway. The new establishment becomes their 13th across the western parts of Kenya.
— Indeje 🇰🇪 (@David_Indeje) October 17, 2020
Established in more than two decades ago, Khetias Supermarket has continued to mushroom her retail shops, maintaining and growing customers and staff for decades.
RANKED THE BEST
In 2018, khetias was ranked among the best supermarkets with fresh produce and excellent customer care service together with Naivas and Chandarana by NPS Industry Benchmark.
With the brand now having outlets in Bungoma (four), Kakamega, Busia, Kisumu, Eldoret and Kitale, Khetias has remained one of the most trusted household names in the region. Even with competition, The chain remains the biggest in Western region and North Rift controlling the sector while also contributing to community empowerment and economic growth.
In the said duration, dozens of other retail chains have tried their luck in the region but in vain.
In Bungoma for example, Khetia’s former competitors Sheriff’s Supermarket had to close retail business and give Khetia’s an opportunity to take over their joints.
Yako Supermarket tried to establish roots in Bungoma but handed over the building to Nakumatt Supermarket which again, closed shop before paving way for Khetia’s Hi-Way opposite The Tourist Hotel Bungoma..
STRUGGLING NEW COMERS
Ronak and Tesia Supermarkets are other brands that have tried luck in Bungoma before leaving the platform.
A closer look at the recent trends characterising Kenya’s retail sector reveals mixed fortunes, whereas the sector has reported growth, those that have tried the Bungoma space seem to have found it harder to hack the niche already taken up by the Giant Khetia’s Supermarket.
Khetia's Victoria Branch – In The Making. Coming Soon In Kisumu… Khetia's – A World Of Choice… pic.twitter.com/G62aL2QLSz
— Khetia's (@KhetiasSuperMkt) November 29, 2016
With the death of Yakomart, Nakumatt and Tesia shutting down their Bungoma town branch, Khetia’s seem to have control of the Market as a customer’s choice.
But that is KSM doing to keep their business afloat? Why is it that many customers have stuck with the chain since the traditional times to the digital era now?
Gladys Wanjala, 34, has shopped with Khetia’s for the last ten years and believes that Khetia’s understand the locals more than anyone else.
“For you to touch the hearts of the locals here, make sure your price for foodstuffs resonates well with the residents,” she tells this writer.
“Here, mothers like myself love tea and Khetia’s knows very well how he prices the tea ingredients to his customers – tea leaves, sugar and other milk products.”
Another factor is that Khetia’s has the habit of employing locals at their respective branches, unlike other chains that import their own manpower. This motivates the residents to identify themselves with the retailer.
“When you walk to these supermarkets, you will see faces of the locals as staff. These locals have their own friends, relatives that prefer to support them by shopping at their particular work places.” notes Geoffrey Simiyu, a farmer and regular customer.
VISIBILITY AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
“For me, I easily identify myself with Khetia’s because they also engage in charity activities in the community among them, world health days where they provide both monetary and logistic support,” Pius Namunyu tells this writer.
With a wide variety of products and services, special offers, tailored products and locally sourced supplies, the chain offers customer satisfaction while also contributing to diverse community based activities that include charities, environmental cleanliness, sports and education support.