New supermarket entrant in Tanzania, Smart Buy, opens in Dar es Salaam

Smart Buy hypermarket has opened up in Dar Es Salaam’s Palm Village Mall. Operated by local joint venture Smart Ventures Company, the supermarket is located in the space that was formerly pencilled in to be Carrefour’s first store in Tanzania.

We estimate the new store has a floorspace of around 1,500m². It is co-owned by Tanzanian investor Rajab Semfuko and Indian entrepreneur Sam Siraj. The company has said it plans to open further stores in Dar es Salaam and Dodoma. The press release accompanying the new store states it cost Sh100bn ($43m), which strikes us a ridiculously, unbelievably large cost for an otherwise modest store.

Palm Village Mall soft opened in December 2019. The opening of the new Smart Buy store is being positioned in press materials as a change of pace for the Tanzanian grocery retail sector after the exits of Shoprite, Nakumatt and Uchumi in recent years.

However, Majid Al Futtaim was supposed to be the anchor tenant, opening a supermarket under the Carrefour Market banner. Indeed, marketing materials for the mall still feature Carrefour’s details. That deal seems to have fallen quietly by the wayside. Instead, Smart Buy, a first time venture, has taken its place.