Tuskys, Kenya’s second-largest retailer, recently began franchising as part of an expansion strategy to reach out and assist small businesses.
Created in the early 1980s, the family-owned supermarket has 52 stores in Kenya and seven in Uganda. Each Tuskys store tends to be located near a bus terminal in order to grant customers easy access to both groceries and public transportation.
However, the new expansion strategy allows the supermarket chain to be even closer to customers in Kenya through the use of a franchising model, which will rebrand and trade independent shops as Tuskys outlets.
“There is someone who is running a successful retail business in Kibera and all they need is a bit of support to make their business more modern, support to access a wider range of products from manufacturers, and to better engage with customers,” CEO Dan Githua says. “We can give that to the retailer as a package and make some money out of it, and the retailer also gets to expand their business.”
Tuskys not only cares about their customers but also about their employees. In October 2015, the supermarket chain set aside 154 million shillings to train graduates in the business. The five-year program allowed up to 2,000 interns to partake in a six-month-long training program. After the program ended, 60 percent of the interns were guaranteed a job in the Tuskys’ workforce.
With a wide range of new interns, Tuskys was able to come up with a quick expansion strategy. Tuskys will begin with five stores as pilots, before adopting a wider franchising business model. The supermarket chain is looking to promote small businesses that are well-served with a nice space and location. After locating these entrepreneurs, Tuskys will then offer a value proposition.
The main goal of the expansion is to give small business owners what they need. Githua says, “If he doesn’t have freezers, we will give them nice freezers. If he doesn’t bake bread, we introduce Tuskys bread in the store.”
By providing Kenyan and Ugandan businesses with proper goods, the store owners and employees will benefit and more people will have access to necessary resources.
– Megan Hadley