Kingsway Stores the retail outlet for UAC products is to be phased out. The Republic investigation revealed that were hitherto used by Kingsway Stores to display its wares are being leased out to independent retailers.
Authoritative sources said that the company is rationalising its operations with emphasis on manufacturing, agriculture and local material sourcing.
As a result, Kingsway Stores which has served as its retail market for goods is to give way to the more locally based units such as UAC Foods.
Reliable sources at UAC told The Republic that most Nigerian consumers with preference for foreign made goods shifted their preference of Kingsway Stores products as soon as they realised that the stores had stocked 100 per cent locally produced goods.
Since the Structural Adjustment Programme, UAC has adopted Nigeria made goods for Kingsway Stores instead of imported goods.
Since the Structural Adjustment Programme, SAP, UAC, has adopted Nigeria made goods for Kingsway Stores instead of imported goods.
Kingsway Stores a subsidiary UAC, has about 13 modern department stores and supermarkets strategically located throughout the country.
The company employs some 1000 staff of whom 400 are women. The rationalisation, The Republic learnt, will affect staffers who have put in certain years of service. Such affected staff would be paid their redundancy benefit while others will be redeployed to other UAC subsidiaries.
UAC Foods, the new pet of the company, will take place of Kingsway Stores.
The food division of UAC has manufactured and sold sausage rolls and other snack foods at wholesale levels for about 25 years, while it has within the period produced freshly prepared snacks.
In 1978, Kingsway decided to have small chain of snack bars, but further development of Kingsway Rendezvous in other cities was obstructed by problems of transportation.
A solution to this problem was found through the joint efforts of UAC Manchester Division, Unilver Research and Bachelor‚Äôs Foods in UK.
In 1977, Unilever Research was briefed to developed a dry pie mix which would both reduce the production time needed to prepare and process raw materials and which would remain ambient and stable.
In 1979, a dehydrated pie mix consisting of minced meat potato, onion and spices was developed, which requires only reconstitution in cold water. This mix enable production time to be cut two-thirds. This of course does not require refrigeration during transit or storage and provides consistent quality irrespective of location or scale of production.
With this development, Kingsway Stores hit the Nigeria snack and food market. This part of Kingsway operation will remain while the retail stores will be phased out.