September 29 marked the last day supermarkets and their suppliers were required to table a revised code of practice with the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK), as part of the efforts by the market regulator to stop a recurrence of the distress witnessed with Tuskys.

Once received, the authority is expected to process the same for gazettement after which it will provide a framework on which contracts between retailers and suppliers are anchored.

CAK director-general Wang’ombe Kariuki says they have been working with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and the Association of Kenya Suppliers to prepare the code of practice.

The latest code of practice seeks to build on the progress made in a similar one developed in the wake of the collapse of Nakumatt Supermarket.

Nakumatt’s creditors voted to liquidate the retailer in January 2020 after efforts to resuscitate the chain failed to yield fruit.

“Nakumatt was a lesson from which parliament learned and amended the Competition Act and gave us the powers which we are now implementing in the situation we are having now. Most of the provisions in the code of practice developed at the time are the ones informing the amendments done by Parliament and those are the ones which are attending to the current situation,” Mr Kariuki says.

The CAK rejects the view that the retail sector in Kenya has a systemic problem. So what ails the retail sector?

Business Redefined hosts CAK director-general Wang’ombe Kariuki for a discussion on the state of the retail sector.