Troubled retailer Tuskys is set to reduce its branch count by half as it seeks operational efficiency at a time it is struggling with cash flow issues that have brought the once vibrant chain to its knees.
As revealed during the hearing of two winding up petitions floated by Hotpoint Appliances and Syndicated Appliances Limited on Tuesday, the retailer revealed it will analyze the efficiency and locations of its current branches while making the decisions on which stores to cut off in the cost cutting exercise.
Through lawyer Patrick Agola, the retailer said that it is planning to reduce the chain’s current 52 stores by half to 25 branches.
The branch network reduction exercise is expected to result into more job losses at the retailer which has already declared multiple redundancies as its stores were closed by landlords over rent arrears.
Tuskys maintains that it is still locked with the Mauritius based fund having earlier reached an agreement in principle which will see the fund inject Ksh2.1 billion in working capital to stabilize the retailer.
Hearings on the winding up of the troubled retailer are expected to continue in January 2021.
The scale of the financial woes at the retailer came to the surface two weeks ago after employees resorted to taking matters into their own hands and paid themselves from cash tills after drawing the conclusion that they might never get their salaries.
Senior employees such as branch managers were leading the charge by paying themselves and dipping into the inventory and walking away with as much as they could amass.
The retailer’s chief cashiers at Greenspan, Kenyatta Avenue, Matasia, T-Mall, Imara, Ongata Rongai and Eldoret resigned while taking with them cash from daily sales.
A cashier posted at one of the retailer’s branch in Eldoret resigned in a huff having taken as much as he could from the supermarket’s till.
“I have just decided to reduce my unpaid salary and paid myself ninety thousand shillings. In case anyone has an issue, kindly deduct this from my salary,” read part of the resignation letter written on November 1 and addressed to the company’s Human Resource office.