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Kenya’s Oldest Retailer, Ebrahim Supermarket Shuts Down, Ending Its 75-year Run in Kenya’s Capital

One of Kenya’s oldest retailers, Ebrahim Supermarket, has called it a day and closed down.

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The retailer, which was established in 1944 as a supermarket with electronics and computer distribution unit next to Sarova Stanley Hotel on Kenyatta Avenue, has closed down its Moi Avenue branch, effectively bring to an end its 75-year run in Kenya’s capital.

At least 30 workers are reported to have lost their jobs in the move that has closed the chapter on one of the city’s most iconic supermarkets established in Kenya’s pre-independent era.

Ebrahim Supermarket Moi Avenue

Ebrahim Supermarket Moi Avenue

Ebrahim Supermarket sold off all of its stock on discounted prices throughout last week in a massive clear-out plan that ended on Saturday, marking its last day of operations.

The building that housed the retailer on Moi Avenue will now be converted into stalls and shops with the owner seeking businesses to buy space through posters.

A worker said employees were not privy to the goings-on and expressed surprise at the closure that now leaves them jobless.

“Hatujui ni nini anataka mara ni stalls na maduka,” (We do not know what exactly is happening because we are setting up shops and stalls now), said the worker.

It is not yet clear what led to the closure, but sources indicate that the retailer was facing financial constrains due to stiff competition from retailers with a bigger name.

carrefour in Kenya

carrefour in Kenya

In recent years, global retail chains the likes of carrefour and LC Waikiki have open shops in Kenya further complicating the fortunes of local retailers.

Ebrahim Supermarket had also established an outlet on Kimathi Street that sells electronics.

It also opened branches in Kisumu, Nakuru and Mombasa, which have since closed down leaving the Nairobi branch only.

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