Tuskys targets premium market with Muthaiga expansion

Shoppers at a Tuskys outlet on Tom Mboya Street in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Shoppers at a Tuskys outlet on Tom Mboya Street in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Tuskys Supermarkets is seeking to grow its presence in upmarket suburbs even as it started restocking key Nairobi branches belonging to troubled Nakumatt last week ahead of its acquisition.

The retailer said on Sunday it had inked a new lease for space at the New Muthaiga Mall, on the city’s posh outskirts, to expand and upgrade its convenience store into a full supermarket.

The store’s facelift targets to grab the high-end customer base in posh estates like Muthaiga, Nyari, Kitisuru, Kyuna, Spring Valley and Rosslyn Estate.

The Tuskys Thigiri Supermarket will feature exotic imported chocolate,frozen foods, alcohol free wine cellar, sauces and food condiments, cheese, cosmetics, lotions and shampoos and pet food.

The convenience store set for the upgrade was opened in 2011.

“Targeting an upmarket clientele, the new store to be relaunched before the end of this month will feature an expanded selection of imported and local premium fast moving consumer good (FMCG) products,” Tuskys said in a statement.

The shift towards the upmarket segment comes even as Tuskys last week announced having embarked on a restocking drive at Nakumatt’s seven key outlets in the city ahead of the December holidays.

Tuskys is set to acquire a 51 per cent stake in Nakumatt in what is meant to give a lifeline to the retail chain that has recently closed down several outlets after being hit by cash flow hiccups.

Tuskys chief executive Dan Githua said they have already restocked Nakumatt Village Hypermarket and Nakumatt Ukay in Nairobi. The retail chain talked several suppliers into the restocking drive, including Brookside Dairy, Bidco Africa, Unilever Kenya and Aquamist Water.

Others are Kevian Kenya, Jackys Limited, Proctor & Allan, Mill Bakers, DPL Festive and Kapa Oil Refineries.

Most suppliers had cut ties with Nakumatt due to arrears running into millions of shillings with some demanding the struggling chain be wound up and liquidated to recover their debts.

Tuskys has offered to inject Sh650 million into the troubled retail chain and recurring payment guarantees of between Sh1.5 billion and Sh3 billion for the outstanding debt. The offer is subject to the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) approving a takeover bid by Tuskys.

Tuskys reckons that the cash injection and issuing of guarantees to suppliers should enable the troubled rival to get its operations back to normalcy and in turn repay its heavy debt that currently stands at between Sh30 billion and Sh40 billion.

“At Tuskys, we are actively rolling out a strategy to deepen our market presence across the delivery segments,” said Mr Githua.

“Such enhancements will see us rolling out the premium focused Tuskys Thigiri Supermarket with an expanded range of products.”