Tuskys and Naivas step up race for retail dominance

Dan Githua
Dan Githua, group CEO of Tusker Mattresses. FILE PHOTO | NMG  

Kenyan retailer Tuskys has taken over space at Crossroads Mall in Karen previously occupied by Nakumatt, debuting its first outlet in the prime neighbourhood in September.

The new Tuskys outlet will be in the same area as South Africa's Game and French retailer Carrefour, at the Waterfront and The Hub Mall respectively.

"We expect to open doors for Tuskys Crossroads within the course of the month. We are investing in this store as part of our operating strategy," Dan Githua, group CEO of Tusker Mattresses told the Business Daily.

The retailer’s competitor, Naivas, is also taking up space on Lang’ata Road, which will plug the gap the troubled Uchumi and Nakumatt supermarkets left.

Along with foreign retail chains, the two Kenyan firms are in a race to fill the vacuum left by once market leader Nakumatt Supermarkets. They have taken over as the largest retailers in terms of branch network.

Tuskys in May said it had injected Sh150 million to open its newest branch in Parklands’ Diamond Plaza II shopping complex.

Mr Githua said the Karen store would employ a hybrid model that adopts local and global tastes to suit the market that consists of Kenyans as well as a large expatriate population.

In July, the supermarket chain opened a branch in Westlands in Nairobi at a space Uchumi Supermarkets previously occupied.

Tuskys’ expansion since January has seen it open two branches in Kericho and Eldoret towns, where it also took over premises that Nakumatt Holdings occupied.

Tuskys and its latest subsidiary, Mavazi Lifestyle clothing stores, are eyeing more locations in Nairobi and Mombasa hoping to increase their branches to 100 in the next three years.