NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 15 – Tusker Mattresses Limited said it will restock its outlets to the tune of Sh1.2 billion, a move it says will revive its business.
In a statement, the retailer said the restocking will be done in conjunction with its leading suppliers, who have committed to support the firm’s business recovery plans.
The move was announced Friday, when retailer launched a new customer rewards programme dubbed ‘Tuskys Back-to-Back Sale’ that will also feature the relaunch of some of its supermarket outlets.
The Group’s CEO Dan Githua said the chain had already received assorted stocks, customer discount vouchers and giveaway merchandise valued at more than Sh200million, as part of the programme.
“Several other branch relaunch events will follow the relaunch of Tuskys Greenspan across the country as we begin to regain our footing,” Githua said.
“The coronavirus pandemic had occasioned business deceleration which had in turn impacted negatively on our financial position which we are now progressively restoring with the support of various stakeholders,” he added.
The announcement to restock comes at a time when the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) said it is closely watching the retailer, after it defaulted on suppliers, a move that resulted in stockouts and closure of some of its branches.
Tuskys is heavily in debt and owes suppliers a total of Sh6.2 billion but says it has reached an agreement to pay 40 percent of the amount over two years.
Githua added that suppliers supporting Tuskys business recovery had already been enrolled in a new business operating platform that guarantees prompt payments for stocks supplied, “ales registered via the new suppliers’ portal enjoy end to end protection, and the funds can only be used to settle supplier dues on a priority basis.”
Speaking at the launch of the programme, Association of Kenya Suppliers (AKS) CEO Mr Ishmael Bett said members of the association had committed to supporting Tuskys recovery to foster growth in the sector.
“The Association of Kenya Suppliers members are offering support to Tuskys to address issues that can jeopardise relations between suppliers and retailers. We hope that more suppliers will join the Tuskys Suppliers portal,” Bett said.
On her part, the Retail Trade Association of Kenya (RETRAK) CEO Wambui Mbarire stressed the need to review the operating frameworks within the retail sector to facilitate mutual growth. The local retail sector, she said, is still on a growth trajectory with opportunity for renewed growth.
“Suppliers and retailers need to come together to formulate a workable platform that does not appear to exploit either party. The rebirth of Tuskys is a good starting point to allow us to relook and solve retail challenges,” said Wambui.
Some of the key suppliers on the portal include; PZ Cussons, Menengai Oil, Mjengo Ltd, Aquamist, Anisuma Traders, Bidco Africa, Broadway Bakeries, Chandaria Industries, and Kenchic Limited. Other suppliers include: West Kenya Sugar, East Africa Glassware Mart, Gal Baking, Pwani Oil, Towfiq Kenya, Interconsumer Products, and Premier Food Industries among others.