OPTIMISM

Tuskys counts on new supplier deal to recover

It has unveiled a portal for real time sales monitoring

In Summary

•In a custodial arrangement, suppliers can monitor supplies and sales from each store.

•The retailer has also reached an agreement to pay 40 per cent of its supplier debt, about Sh2.4 billion, over two years.

Tuskys is banking on a new restocking deal with suppliers to replenish its stores countrywide, as part of its revival strategy after months of turbulence.

The new deal gives suppliers access to a portal, giving them visibility of their supplies and sales from each store, head of business development-John Muitiriri said

Supplier debt coupled with a drop in business in the retail space, occasioned by Covid-19, has in the last two months threatened its business with the retailer forced to close some branches on reduced cash flow.

The closed branches include Tuskys Tom Mboya, Tuskys Kitale Mega and its Digo Road branch in Mombasa.

Other outlets which faced closure, include its Eldoret store, Nairobi’s Komarock Mall store and Kisumu's-United Mall branch

The new supply deal is expected to increase transparency and accountability as the retailer moves to win back its suppliers' trust.

The retailer is also counting on the Sh2 billion financing deal with an unnamed Mauritius based fund, to clear part of supplier debt that was at Sh6.2 billion last month.

The retailer has reached an agreement to pay 40 per cent of the amount (Sh2.4 billion) over two years.

A possible further capital injection is, however, likely to see it clear its debt earlier, persons familiar with its operations told the Star yesterday.

Speaking in Malindi during the relaunch of the Tuskys Malindi branch, Muitiriri said operations at the retailer's 60 stores, including closed ones, are headed back to normal.

He said 55 of the branches are operational and are doing well.

 

Muitiriri said the supermarket is now relaunching its branches countrywide to win back shopper.

Over the weekend, the company relaunched Kilifi and Malindi Tuskys retail stores as part of its move to bring back confidence to its clients.

"The stocking exercise is going on in all our stores countrywide which is fully supported by suppliers. We have an agreement with suppliers to give us stock and pay them back after a short period,'Muitiriri  said.

Dubbed 'back-to-back', the relaunch is aimed at cementing Kenya's second-largest supermarket's position in the retail space, which continues to face competition from multi-nationals and foreign investments. 

"Tuskys is not going anywhere in the business sector despite the challenges it has faced, "Muitiriri affirmed.

He however expressed concerns over reduced disposal income by households, which is contributing to low sales in the retail space.

Closed stores, mainly on rent disputes, shall remain closed, management has said. 

Tuskys has so far relaunched in Kisumu, Eldoret, Kisii, Mombasa, Nairobi.

Meanwhile, Tuskys is on course to address salary delays, management has said, amid a stand-off between the retailer and the Kenya Union of Commercial Food and Allied Workers.

The employees are claiming part of July and August salary arrears.

''We have engaged our employees and opened up channels of communication and feedback too. This helps in addressing the issues as they come on a real-time basis,''Muitiriri said.