The Naivas Story

A Journey To Market Leadership

Naivas the leading retailer in the country by financials and branch network entered the retail scene 30 years ago in July, 1990. One would be forgiven for thinking that the retail juggernaut has always existed. However, truth is, it has been three decades of transformations.

The Beginning


Retail in Kenya is largely a family business affair and the founding of Naivas is no different. It is entrenched in familial ties.

In 1990, Tuskys supermarkets opened their first Nairobi outlet and the founder, the late Joram Kamau, decided to leave one of their business premises in Rongai Nakuru to 2 of his nephews, David Kimani and the Late Simon Mukuha.

This followed the two having diligently worked for their uncle in the store for several years. All the brothers had to do was pay for the stocks.

The store going by the name of Gitwe General Stores, was located in the rural town of Rongai in Nakuru County.

The two brothers were subsequently joined by their father, the Late Peter Mukuha, and started operations in their new business.

The Expansion


The 3 founding family members put in the hours and after four years in operations as they sought to expand the business.

Having experienced significant growth. In 1994, Rongai Self Service Stores became a two-location retailer with the opening of a second store at Elburgon, 10km north of Rongai.

It is with the expansion into the second outlet that another of the siblings joined the business, a sister, Linet Wairimu Mukuha.


Two years later, in 1996, the retailer undertook three major steps, it made its entry into Naivasha town, shut down the pioneer store in Rongai and had the fourth sibling, a second sister, Grace Wambui Mukuha, join the business.


Five years later in 2001, the retailer was ready to make an entry into the country’s capital. In order to fund this expansion, the second outlet in Elburgon was shut down and the first Nairobi outlet opened its doors in downtown along Ronald Ngala street.


In 2004, the retailer experienced its first double store openings in a single year; first Machakos outlet in February and an estate outlet, Komarock, in October.

2005 - 2009

After having made an entry into Nairobi, the retailer once again decided to focus its expansion energies outside of Nairobi for the period between 2005 and 2009. By the end of that period, the outlet count stood at 10 outlets with 8 outside of Nairobi and 2 in the capital.

At the end of 2009, the retailer made a return into the city with the Eastgate branch located at Donholm estate and went into an aggressive estate and regional expansion drive.


Since then and over the years, the retailer has introduced different store formats in an effort to serve all groups of shoppers but remain true to its brand promise of giving value for money.

The most notable store format is the foodmarket concept which was introduced in 2016 with its Kiambu Road outlet. It was not only a first for the retailer, but also a first in the East and Central Africa region.

The popularity of this store concept has not only necessitated the opening of more outlets bearing this format but also the redesigning of existing stores. The foodmarket outlets stand at 10 in number.


In 2019, the express store format was also introduced targeting the convenient shopper.

As of April, 2023, over thirty years on, the retailer boasts of 92 outlets countrywide

The Corporate Identity

The journey from Gitwe General Stores to Naivas Limited

Gitwe General Stores becomes Rongai Self Service Stores

As the founders set up shop in 1990, they inherited the store name, Gitwe General Stores, and traded with it until somewhere between 1992 and 1993 where subsequently the store name was changed to Rongai Self Service Stores.

Entry into Naivasha and the birth of Naivasha Self Service Stores

In 1998, following the entry and success of the Naivasha outlet, the retailer once again changed its name to Naivasha Self Service Stores.

It is important to note, all this while, the retailer did not have a brand identity but rather just a business name.

The Rebrand to Naivas

16 years since setting up shop in 1990 and having traded outside of Naivasha for about 6 years, the retailer rebranded to Naivas in 2006. Finally, the retailer got a brand identity and a corporate colour; purple.

Our Brand Colours

In 2009, the retailer once again underwent a rebrand to its current brand look and feel; brand colours being orange and green.

Our Brand Promise

Saving you money while offering unbeatable value

The brand promise has stood for years being saves you money which is not only a direct depiction of our dedication to being the most competitively priced in the market but through provision of quality products, having all we claim to carry on shelf and quick and efficient service which saves on time.

Our Future

What The Future Holds

For the future, the business is focused on harnessing technology to buy better and provide the best assortment to customers at the most competitive pricing.

The retailer whose female employee count stands at 24%, has made deliberate and calculated steps in getting more female employees onboarded and more so take up leadership positions. This is to break the cycle that has seen the retail sector remain predominantly male despite most retail shoppers being female.

In terms of expansion, we have reached heights previously unprecedented in the retail industry and we focused on becoming Kenya’s Success story by growing our footprint to other parts of East Africa and truly become the pride of this Nation.