Tuskys out to defend retail turf

A local retailer has set out to defend its turf in the wake of international chains flexing their financial muscle to snap up key outlets.

While downplaying the threat posed by deep pocketed retailers, Tuskys Supermarkets has announced plans to consolidate its current network reach to grow its market share.

Tuskys chief executive officer Dan Githua said on Thursday that local retailers have what it takes to build capacity to enable them ward off competition.

“Kenyan retailers have the capacity and ability to ward off the multinationals market assault by maintaining world class standards on all fronts including prompt payments and customer service excellence,” Mr Githua said.

For the last two years, Kenya’s retail sector has been going through turbulent times.

Nakumatt which was once a giant in the sector is now struggling to stay afloat. Uchumi is not fairing any better, with its chief executive officer resigning on Wednesday.

Amidst this changes, the retail sector has continued to attract a number of foreign multinational stores are now angling for control of the local market.

They include French giant Carrefour, Botswana’s Choppies and Walmart, through its South African subsidiary Massmart.

“Growth of industry was not commensurate with structures to manage that growth, our local chains have not adapted well and have suffered last two years. For Tuskys we are coming through a transition, have a good relationship with suppliers,” he said.

The move by Tuskys comes after it suffered a blow early this week when the Competition Authority rejected the proposed merger with troubled Nakumatt.

“I may not be able to say much but we are still talking to see how best to work with Nakumatt,” Mr Githua said.

He spoke during the launch of Tuskys Christmas Deals Poa Customer Reward Campaign.

Tuskys is projecting a 30 percent growth in sales this festive season with this Sh60 million campaign.

Additional reporting by Mike Irungu