Auctioneers Thursday shut down Tuskys Supermarket store in Kisumu’s United Mall over Sh26 million rent arrears, highlighting the depth of the retailer’s financial woes.
In an early morning incident, Victoria Blues Services Auctioneers (VBSA) stopped Tuskys from opening its doors and is set to auction the retailer’s stocks and lorry next Friday.
The auction and closure of the store indicate deep cash flow troubles at the giant retailer, which revealed it owes suppliers Sh6.2 billion and is seeking to sell a majority stake in a rescue attempt.
“We have secured the goods by locking the store. They have a dispute over rent with the landlord that they must pay before they can trade at the mall,” said a representative from VBSA in an interview yesterday.
The auctioneer has already issued a notice on Tuskys goods that will be sold on August 28, including electronics, shelves, toiletries and food items.
“We have been directed not to allow any worker, customer or business operator get inside here,” said an officer from Riley Falcon Security Company.
Tuskys has two branches in Kisumu.
For months now, shoppers have complained of missing essential goods on the retailer’s shelves, suggesting that some suppliers are severing ties with the company amid a cash crunch, which the retailer has blamed on Covid-19 restrictions.
Tuskys is racing to sell a majority stake to a consortium made up a private equity firm and undisclosed foreign retailer.
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