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Tuskys shuts down Eastleigh branch over rent dispute

Retail chain Tuskys Supermarkets has closed its Eastleigh branch over a rent dispute with the landlord.

The Eastleigh branch was shut on Monday last week.

The fallout with the landlord caused a standoff as he sent people who seized goods and demolished shelves to recover alleged arrears.

A spot check found the outlet closed and there was no notice indicating whether the supermarket will be reopening.

Tuskys chief operations officer Peter Leparacho confirmed the closure. He attributed the rent dispute with the landlord to a misinterpretation of the lease agreement.

Tuskys had occupied the premise last year.

“It’s true the landlord raided our Eastleigh outlet on Monday, we’re pursuing different avenues to resolve the matter soon,” said Mr Leparacho.

Mr Leparacho put Tuskys’ debt with the landlord at about Sh6.8 million, but sources claimed it could be in the tens of millions.

“The issue is about misinterpretation of the lease agreement we entered with the owners of the building. We will retain the employees that were working in the store,” he said.

Tuskys opened the Eastleigh branch a year ago and operated on the ground floor of a five-storey building with a workforce of 70.

Tuskys, which is Kenya’s second largest supermarkets chain by number of stores, is a family business jointly owned by five brothers and two sisters.

The closure comes nearly a year after it lost another outlet to Eastmatt supermarket, which was located next to the Fire Station on Tom Mboya Street, Nairobi.