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Auctioneer seizes Tuskys stock in Kisumu over rent

The entire stock at a Tuskys branch in Kisumu has been put on auction and the branch shut as the landlord moved to recover millions owed in rent.

The assets seized from the store located at United Mall Kisumu include items crucial to retail operations such as cashier counters and 68 shelves.

Other items are worth millions such as furniture, sports equipment, kitchenware, electronics, electrical appliances, clothes and consumer goods.

Felix Apollo, the proprietor of Victoria Blues Services Auctioneers, said his firm had “secured” the premises ahead of the planned auction next week.

“This is a small dispute, our client and Tuskys are talking,” he said, refusing to disclose the amount sought through auction.

This comes as Tuskys survived a similar auction attempt of its merchandise at one of its Nakuru branches after resolving the rent row with the landlord.

The looming auction dampens the retailer’s relaunch last week after securing Sh1.2 billion working capital from suppliers in the form of stock.

The retail chain has closed three branches this year and is set to close more as it cuts costs and fights to stay alive while it searches for a strategic investor to boost the business.

It owes suppliers over Sh6 billion and customers across the country have been complaining of empty shelves.

In the last couple of weeks, the shelves at the Kisumu branch remained empty with only a handful of goods available for customers.

When The Standard visited the mall yesterday, only guards could be seen a few metres away from the supermarket entrance.

The closure will be a major blow for small businesses that set up at the mall and in the environs because of the heavy traffic that the supermarket used to attract.

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