Tuskys Supermarkets has shut down its branch on Nairobi’s Sheikh Karume Road.
The retail chain’s chief executive Dan Githua, declined to comment on the closure of what has been one of its biggest stores with multiple floors. “No comment for now,” said Mr Githua in response to queries by the Business Daily. This brings down to 54 Tuskys’ stores in Kenya.
The retailer in December 2013 lost its store next to the F**e Station along Tom Mboya Street in Nairobi to rival Eastmatt. Tuskys attributed closure of the store to failure to agree on lease terms with the landlord. The retail industry’s fight to keep prime locations with high foot traffic is seen to exert pressures on their profit margins.
Retailers are also battling other multiple challenges such as finance costs and mounting supplier debts that have resulted in stock outs pushing some players into the red. Research by Kestrel Capital shows that Kenya’s retail and grocery stores earn a return on sales of between one and three per cent, underlining the importance of cost containment.
Kenyan retailers owe industrialists Ksh40 billion in unpaid dues, with some payments dating back to 2014, according to a lobby representing manufacturers.