Tuskys Supermarket seems to be headed to a crush and any attempts to try and stop it are hitting the rock. In the last few months, the once thriving retailer in Kenya has been ejected from various malls over failure to pay rent amounting to millions of shillings.
“I never knew that a day shall come when our employer, Tuskys Supermarket will be a subject of ridicule and shame, being chased away from buildings like street dogs. I never even imagined such a thing,” said one of the employees who had just been fired.
During the week, the troubled retailer fired hundreds of its uninionized staff across the country, saying it is part of its strategy to relign and stay afloat. Some of the fired employees held demonstrations saying they had been fired without being paid for months.
“They are telling us to come back to collect our salaries in March 2021. Who does that? They know by 2021 Tuskys Supermarket will be history, gone, dead, and buried. What are we going to do with our lives?” asked one angry fired employee.
In the letter, Tuskys Supermarket Human Resources General Manager, Francis Kimani, added that it will only offer payment to the staff members in line with the termination notice including accrued leave days and severance pay. But the staff is skeptical.
“Due to the ongoing business realignments, Tusker Mattresses Limited hereby informs you that it will no longer continue to offer you employment and will terminate your employment contract with effect from September 22,” the letter reads in part.
The woes facing Tuskys Supermarket add to the list of other retailers who started with similar economic symptoms and ended up dead. Is Kenya becoming a graveyard for retailers?
Nakumatt Supermarket was the giant in the sector, the largest in East Africa. It died and now people cannot even remember its corporate color. Uchumi Supermarket died a long time ago, only that the owners are still holding onto it.