Kenyan retailer Tuskys embarks on franchising plan to drive growth

KENYA – Tuskys Supermarkets, Kenya’s leading retail chain is set to embark on franchising its brand to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in East Africa as part of its aggressive growth plan.

The retailer revealed its expansion strategy during the launch of its 60th outlet at Nanyuki Mall and welcomed applicants who wish to be enjoined in the programme debbed ‘Tuskys Commercial Trade.’

The plan includes partnering with local investors who will use the Tuskys brand name as well as setting up smaller stores in Kenya and Uganda.

Tuskys chief executive Dan Githua said, “We will roll out a lot of stores, especially smaller format outlets on franchise model across East Africa and it is going to happen at the same time.”

“We are allowing our partners to use the Tuskys brand, IT, human resource and supplier management systems among our other resources,” said Mr Githua in an interview with the Business Daily.

Tuskys first piloted a franchise branch in Nairobi as part of several growth strategies that also include merging with smaller retailers by 2024.

“The small retailers are also improving and we see a lot of opportunity for consolidation and aggregation in the retail industry. Data available shows that we still have an opportunity to have three times more the number of supermarkets in Kenya,” stated Mr. Githua

The newly opened branch in Nanyuki Mall was as a result of takeover of the space by the supermarket chain after the closure of Botswana based retailer, Choppies supermarket branch at the mall earlier last month.

In Laikipia County, the supermarket chain is aiming to roll out other outlets in Rumuruti and Nyahururu towns.

Tuskys is currently the biggest retailer in the country, a position it quickly rose to after Nakumatt and Uchumi began to collapse under the weight of debts.

To spear head its growth, Tuskys kicked off its listing process on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) in August and started searching for transaction advisors as it eyes a September 2020 listing, in bid to raise funds for regional expansion.

The retailer, which also has business in Uganda was incubated into the IBUKA program of the Nairobi Securities Exchange in a bid to accelerate its listing process.

The NSE Ibuka Program is aimed at growing the visibility, brand recognition and business opportunities for hosted companies.

Nairobi Securities Exchange revealed that the retailer joined the Accelerator Board of the program following a rigorous evaluation and vetting process making it the fifteenth company to join the program since its launch in December 2018.

Tuskys has also embarked on exploring the e-commerce space after recently unveiling an online portal to grow digital revenue streams.

The online platform hopes to leverage the supermarket’s four million customers to drive up sales, as it anticipates that e-commerce will account for 20 percent of Tuskys’ total revenues in the next two years.

The shift towards e-commerce brings competition to the doorsteps of online shopping sites such as Jumia, Kilimall and Safaricom’s Masoko.

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