Choppies Enterprises Kenya Ltd and the Association of Kenya Suppliers (AKS) have signed an agreement under which all outstanding supplier payments will be cleared. In a memo seen by Kenyan Wallstreet, the supermarket chain committed with immediate effect to pay all suppliers on time.
Choppies management stated,” We recognize how important prompt and on-time payment to suppliers are to the economic health of the sector and are pleased to confirm that Choppies are now able to adhere to all agreements.”
The agreement comes after Choppies experienced difficulties paying its suppliers. The chain store sacked its CEO Ramachandran Ottapathu in May this year. Some of its stores were reportedly out of stock due to the deadlock with suppliers. Choppies has experienced slow growth and difficulties leading to the closure of Kiambu town and Bungoma branches earlier this year.
The statement by Choppies reassured customers, employees, and suppliers that the business had recapitalized with an injection of required funds to ensure the resumption of normal operations.
Choppies local shareholder, Export Trading Group, supported the recapitalization drive and committed to supporting business growth. The retail chain started in Botswana in 1986 and expanded to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, and Kenya. Choppies Kenya operates 12 stores acquired from Ukwala Supermarkets in 2016 and has laid out expansion plans in the Kenyan market.
The retail chain also refuted claims of delays in paying employees’ salary stating,” The employees have always received their salaries on time and there are no pending salaries in arrears to the employees.”