The Thika Road Mall (TRM) in Nairobi. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG
The Thika Road Mall (TRM) in Nairobi. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 
French retailer Carrefour is tomorrow set to open its third Nairobi store at the Thika Road Mall (TRM), two months after struggling rival Nakumatt evacuated the space.

Carrefour, whose local franchise is held by Dubai-based conglomerate Majid Al Futtaim, will initially operate on the first floor before opening its doors on the mall’s ground floor mid next year.

The retailer’s move to set up in the populated residential area of Roysambu marks a shift in strategy since its operational stores – at Nairobi’s The Hub and Two Rivers malls – serve as destination shopping centres.

“Carrefour are opening their doors at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. This will completely transform the mall. We expect higher footfall, leaving our tenants in a better position,” TRM chief operating officer, Bashir Dalvi, said in an interview.

“To start with, they will open the doors to the space on the first floor. However, shoppers can expect to see a majority of the commodities they find in a normal supermarket.”

Carrefour is one of the beneficiaries of Nakumatt’s decline, with the Kenyan retailer closing more branches in recent weeks on the back of stockouts and huge debts including rent arrears.

The TRM outlet covers over 5,000 square metres selling area and will cater for the growing population segment residing in Roysambu and Kasarani as well as those travelling along the busy Thika Road.

It will cover two floors of the mall whose construction was completed in 2013, with the projection of starting operations at the upper level of the mall next month, and having full operations on both floors by mid-2018.

Al Futtaim currently works with over 640 suppliers, local manufacturers, producers and farmers.

The new store is expected to employ 200 people, raising the company’s staff count to 800.