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BY UPESI REPORTER,NAIROBI,12TH SEPT,2020-Retailer Tuskys has been forced to temporarily shut its branch at the Juja City Mall after auctioneers raided the premise late on Friday following a rent row.
According to sources, the management of the supermarket is at present engaged with the landlord in view of re-opening the store.
Tuskys has continued to mark a struggle in onboarding its disgruntled landlords to its proposed turnaround plan as rent arrears surge to the tune of millions of shillings.
Earlier in the week, the retailer was forced to shut down another branch in Eldoret after the landlord at the premises sent out auctioneers to force due rent payments.
Just last month, the retail chain was forced to temporarily shut down branches at Kisumu’s United Mall, K-Mall in Komarock and inside Nairobi’s Central Business District in a carbon-copy row.
Landlords have continued to exploit auction threats to recover part of own monies as the retailer sails through uncertain rough waters.
For instance, the United Mall landlord collected an estimated half of due payments after threatening to auction the supermarket’s merchandise and later served notice of the withdrawal of the retailer’s lease at the facility.
Moreover, Tuskys is yet to clear salaries to staff stretching between the months of July and August despite management’s promises of settlement.
Staff told of suffering and disenchantment as management keeps them in the dark of affairs.
Tuskys has been betting on the capture of new capital from a strategic investor to ride through the wave.
Last month, the retailer indicated it had signed a term sheet that would see it receive Ksh.2 billion in new capital injection from a Mauritius-based fund.
Management however remains lip tight on the progress of the investment as it engages the fund before a potential deal is closed.
The retailer has in the meantime focused itself on a rebranding exercise as it targets to drive sales through sharp discounts.
Further, the supermarket continues to engage suppliers as it markets a new settlement platform that is meant to fast-track payments for stocks supplied.
Tuskys owes in excess of Ksh.6 billion in debt to suppliers and other trading partners.