Naivas technical hitch leaves customers stranded for hours

naivas mwembe tayari

A notice about a system failure is pictured at Naivas Supermarket's Mwembe Tayari branch in Mombasa County, on March 3, 2023.

Photo credit: Anthony Kitimo | Nation Media Group

Hundreds of shoppers were left stranded on Thursday after several Naivas Supermarket branches across the country experienced a system failure.

The outage, reported to have begun in the morning, led to the prolonged closure of some of the retail giant’s outlets, according to sources.

“Our branch has unfortunately been closed since morning because our systems could not process customer payments,” said one customer care attendant.

Calls by Nation.Africa to some branches in Nakuru, Naivasha, Machakos and Ruiru found the outlets were still closed to shoppers as late as 2 pm.

A spot check within the Nairobi central business district established that some of the outlets had been closed momentarily, while others remained open but with only a few counters in use.

In all the branches visited, mobile payment services remained non-operational.

Some Kenyans took to Twitter to raise concerns over the closures, as well as seek answers on when operations would resume.

“What’s happening? Naivas Malindi is still closed at this time,” Ivy Mauwa wrote on Twitter at 9am Friday.

At 11am, Profesa Muyah wrote: “The new and old Naivas outlets in Machakos town have been closed down due to POS [point of sale] technical hitch, citing that they will resume immediately once the issue is resolved [sic].

Our attempts to get an official statement from the retailer went unanswered. However, in some branches, management posted notices on entrances, informing customers of the issue.

“We are experiencing a technical hitch that has impacted our POS (till) operations. The team is working to ensure that the matter is resolved in the shortest amount of time possible. All inconveniences occasioned by this are highly regretted,” reads a notice at one Machakos outlet.

The retailer also responded to queries on Twitter, citing system downtime.