A visit to your local Tuskys supermarket will show several empty shelves, weary employees, and complaining customers.
Tuskys woes are evident in the faces of both their employees and shoppers. Employees have grown tired of explaining why your favorite brand is no longer available. Clients have grown weary, asking why they cannot find almost 60% of their shopping.
The once robust and busy aisles of the famous Tuskys is now an empty ghost town, from Kisumu, Embakasi, Rongai to Kitale. The pattern of empty shelves repeats itself.
Where have we seen this story before? Uchumi, Nakumatt, and, most recently, Ukwala. The misfortune of large retail supermarket chains seems to be almost scripted.
The same suppliers who were the first to blow the whistle and cry foul on Nakumatt have done the same to Tuskys. They have grown impatient with delayed payments being the order of the day.
The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has been at the forefront of the chain’s investigation. Rumors of misappropriation of funds and abuse of power have been rife. This has also pushed some suppliers to withhold their stocks.
CAK has reported delayed payment of goods to local suppliers in four branches. These delays were past their 90 days mark.
Tuskys has been ordered to pay all debts that are past 90 days immediately. This order came from CAK after investigations that started in April 2020. After a series of meetings, a review of the retails documentation was done, and a proposed debt settlement plan was reached.
Tuskys admitted that they were negotiating with their leading suppliers to avoid the withholding of stock. The management has communicated that they were in talks with a strategic investor. This investor would come in with additional funding by August 1, 2020.
With this in place, the CAK gave a little leeway to the retailer. Although in a statement to the press, it insisted that there shall still be constant compliance checks done weekly and continued interrogation of the financial and management records.