Despite the brave faces donned by Tuskys owners in public and reassurances that the boat is inches away from being steadied, things are moving south for the retailer. The chain has now shut down the Ronald Ngala outlet within Nairobi’s Central Business District.
This comes as a blow after the retailer shut down the Tom Mboya branch in April this year following the outbreak of Covid-19 at a time when customers were reporting stock shortages across all Tuskys branches in the country.
Three months ago, the retailer indicated that it is in negotiations with an offshore fund to sell some stake with the management indicating that the proceeds would be directed to recapitalize the business even as some siblings in the family-owned business preferred to sell their stake instead.
So far operations have stopped in various Tuskys branches including; at the K-Mall branch in Komarock and the Hakati branch in Nairobi. The retailer has also closed branches in Eldoret, Kilifi, Kitale, and Mombasa.
On October 1, The High Court in Nairobi gave Tuskys 45 days to clear arrears amounting to Ksh248 million or face liquidation.
Justice Francis Tuiyott said that Tuskys had gone mute on creditors and refused to arrange a meeting to discuss a debt repayment plan.
Hotpoint electronics had moved to court seeking to compel the retailer to clear the arrears.
Other creditors that joined the suit include Brookside, Delight Limited, Vitaform, Greenspan Mall, Textplus Industries, Standard Group Plc, Kenblest, United Millers, and Rentco Africa.
In October, Tuskys announced the appointment of Chadwick Omondi Okumu, the former Uchumi Chief Financial Officer as its new financial controller, as it sought to bring on board experience deemed necessary to climb out of the red.
Okumu replaced Daniel Ndirangu who left the supermarket chain at the end of 2019.
Okumu has bags of experience in the retail sector having worked with Uchumi as its Head of Finance for eight years. He has also previously worked in various capacities with Reckitt Benchiser and Keroche Breweries.