Capital Markets

Retailers seek help to streamline corporate governance

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Retail Trade Association of Kenya (Retrak) chairman and Naivas Supermarket chief commercial officer Willy Kimani (left), CompuLynx chief executive Sailesh Savani, and Retrak chief executive Wambui Mbarire. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG

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Summary

  • Retailers have invited the capital markets regulator and corporate governance experts to help streamline management within their operations to prevent recurring troubles.
  • Speaking on the backdrop of ongoing boardroom scuffles at Tuskys, the Retail Traders Association (Retrak) said family-owned businesses were hardest hit, threatening the well-being of their businesses.

Retailers have invited the capital markets regulator and corporate governance experts to help streamline management within their operations to prevent recurring troubles.

Speaking on the backdrop of ongoing boardroom scuffles at Tuskys, the Retail Traders Association (Retrak) said family-owned businesses were hardest hit, threatening the well-being of their businesses.

“We are looking to engage the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and the Institute of Corporate Governance to train in best practices on corporate governance in the retail sector. The weak corporate governance has seen retail giants struggle to remain afloat,” Retrak chief executive Wambui Mbarire said.

Retail chain Tuskys is the latest family-owned business to fall into trouble.

Since March the firm has struggled to stay in business with landlords, suppliers and workers demanding their unpaid dues.

Ms Mbarire, who spoke in Nairobi during release of a retail sector outlook report, said barriers of trade facing retailers in Kenya were human resource (37.5 percent) where workers lacked a clear growth path, corporate governance (28.13 percent) and inadequate financial capacity at 28.13 percent.

The survey was conducted by software technology firm Compulynx.

It also found that the Covid-19 pandemic has seen retail traders deepen in-store online portals allowing 24 hour transactions as well as inventory management.

“E-Commerce integration is a leading priority for more than half of retailers surveyed due to increased demand of online shopping as a result of Covid-19 restrictions. Retailers should embrace e-commerce online stores to compliment brick and mortar stores,” said the Retrak CEO.

Retailers were also advised to increase engagement with employees by providing periodic training programmes.