Khetias Supermarkets: From Hawking in a Pickup to Being One of Kenya’s Leading Supermarkets, The Story

Khetias stands as a prominent figure in the nation’s supermarket industry, yet its ascent to this lofty position was far from effortless, commencing its journey as humble street hawkers in Trans Nzoia town.

The origins of this retail empire date back to 1982 when it first embarked on its operations, employing merely two individuals. With an unwavering commitment to delivering goods to the remote corners of Bungoma and neighboring towns, the company took strategic measures by constructing warehouses for efficient storage and procuring delivery vehicles to streamline transportation.

Focusing its efforts on the western region of the country, Khetias gradually cultivated a loyal customer base. This led to the establishment of wholesale branches in Kitale, Bungoma, and Webuye, marking a significant expansion in its operations.

The early 1990s marked a pivotal moment for Khetias as it successfully secured distribution agreements with prominent companies like Lion Brand and Kaluworks, notable mattress manufacturers among others. This marked the company’s foray into product diversification.

With a diverse range of products sourced from these leading companies, Khetias ventured into international markets, securing export agreements with neighboring nations. This expansion prompted the construction of multi-storey retail outlets, with the first being established in Bungoma.

The early 2000s witnessed a major stride in Khetias’ growth trajectory with the establishment of the colossal Kitale gigamart, which held the distinction of being Kenya’s largest shopping supermarket at the time. Subsequently, Khetias acquired the Kabarnet Mineral Water Company, further diversifying its portfolio.

The resounding success of the Kitale gigamart catalyzed Khetias to acquire properties in other key locations such as Eldoret, Kakamega, Kisii, and Kericho, extending its reach across the country.

In 2012, Khetias broadened its footprint by inaugurating a multi-storey branch in Eldoret, a move followed by the opening of additional outlets in Busia, Kisumu, Kakamega, Naivasha, and Nairobi.

Today, Khetias has firmly entrenched itself as a household name in the Kenyan retail sector. Owned by the Khetias family of Kitale and managed by Ashok Khetia, the supermarket continues to be a driving force in the country’s retail landscape.