Supermarket Chain's Collapse Shows Perils of Africa's Hottest Retail Market

NAIROBI, Kenya—The near-empty shelves and deserted aisles at a sprawling outlet of Kenya’s homegrown supermarket giant, Nakumatt Holdings Ltd., here are reminders of the risks—and opportunities—presented by East Africa’s biggest retail market.

The family-run retailer was once emblematic of the “Africa Rising” narrative of a rapidly growing urban consumer class and local champions outmaneuvering larger, foreign competitors. At its height in 2014, Nakumatt took over the Tanzanian stores of South Africa-based Shoprite Holdings…

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