Retail services provider, Tusker Mattresses has sent out the clearest signal yet, that it intends to enhance its market share under a business strategy anchored on partnerships, technology and innovation.
As part of the strategy announced over the weekend, Tusker Mattresses which operates Tuskys Supermarkets and Mavazi Lifestyle clothing stores has set its sights on a 100 branches strong network in the next three years.
Speaking at the first Tuskys CEO Gala Dinner hosted to celebrate the firm’s staffers, suppliers and partners at the Safari Park Hotel, Tusker Mattresses Group CEO Dan Githua said the firm has revamped its corporate strategy to accelerate growth.
The firm, he said, will rely heavily on enhanced supplier partnerships, human resource development initiatives and extensive information technology adoption to guarantee a superior customer experience while cutting down operating costs including loss control. “These partnerships will include joint investments in automated solutions with suppliers to cut shrinkage rates from 5% to less than 1% given that loss control is a key problem dogging the retail sector today,” he said.
Shoppers at Tuskys branches, Githua said, will enjoy incentives as the firm moves to scale up shopper marketing partnerships with its suppliers. This, he said has been inspired by the market success of the Tuskys Christmas Deal Poa campaign.
The firm’s three-year operating strategy to be rolled out at an estimated cost of Ksh 3 billion, Githua said will be fueled by partnerships with market leading technology and related solutions providers.
“We cannot continue operating the business as usual. We must break down all the barriers and limitations by forging meaningful partnerships with our suppliers, customers and staff among others,” Githua said. “The future of the local formal retail will be defined by exceptional end to end excellence, and innovation. In my humble view, the only way to create intrinsic value is to adopt and embrace innovation in everything we do,” he added.
With a branch complement of 64 stores in Kenya and Uganda, Githua confirmed that Tuskys is adopting competitive strategies to shake off competition from local and multinational retail operators.
“We shall not be depressed by local or international competitor activity because we know we can do better as we maintain world-class standards,” he said.
To enhance supplier relations, Tuskys, Githua said, is finalising plans to expand its Ksh 3 billion supply chain finance facility to provide coverage to all its suppliers next year. The facility, to be expanded to about Kshs 4.5 billion is underwritten by KCB and DTB Bank Kenya currently covers 40% of the firm’ suppliers.
“The calls for prompt payment have been loud and clear and we shall strive to ensure that we do not erode value for this business,” he said and assured that, “We shall also re-dedicate ourselves to proper corporate governance standards to enable us meet stakeholder expectations.”
On the technology adoption front, Tuskys, Githua disclosed, is betting on big data opportunities and has commenced data mining and social media shopper marketing in conjunction with global business intelligence solutions firm DataOrbis and Facebook respectively.
“For an enterprise that has operated for more than a decade, we have a large data repository that can be mined to help us better understand trends, among other critical information. Such information will allow us to advance our shopper marketing aspects. We are already working with Facebook to harness our data capabilities,” he noted.
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The firm has also commenced online training modules for the firm’s interns and staffers currently enrolled at the Joram Kamau Leadership School.
“We shall invest sustainably to enable us attract and retain cream of the crop talent that can meet our organizational needs competitively. Our online training program already has more than 1000 of our staff enrolled,” he said, adding that, “By end of 2018, the program will have enrolled all our 6,000 staff.”
The training initiatives, Githua explained, is part of the firm’s formal retail sustainability commitments.