Lifestyle Holdings downsizes

TN Mart, a unit of Lifestyle Holdings, has embarked on a massive downsizing exercise after the retailer closed four outlets in Harare last month, NewsDay Business has learnt.

BERNARD MPOFU

Lifestyle Holdings majority shareholder Tawanda Nyambirai said the group had resolved to roll out “virtual marts”, cutting down on its branch network, following Econet’s takeover of TN Bank, now Steward Bank.

Early this year, Zimbabwe’s largest mobile phone operator increased its stake in TN Bank Limited (TN Bank) to 97,96% following a cash and share swap deal.

TN Grill and TN Mart, according to Nyambirai, currently has 10 TN Grill restaurants — nine in Harare and one in Marondera — and has plans to open new branches in Chivhu, Gweru, and Masvingo using internally-generated funds.

“Before the disposal of TN Bank, TN Holdings Limited’s business model revolved around TN Bank.  TN Bank’s own vision then was to have an expansive branch network where people live and where they work in order to deliver convenient banking services to its customers,” Nyambirai said in an interview yesterday.

“To make the branch network affordable, the network had to offer other products.  That is where TN Mart came in.  Here, the interest was not in the business of selling groceries.  The interest was to deliver banking services in all malls that provided one-stop convenience, including groceries.

“It was on this basis that the suburban TN Mart shops were set up at the former Rufaro Marketing sites.  After selling TN Bank, our business model changed.  The business model for TN Mart is not to set up many supermarkets.  The model is around a virtual mart and convenient shops that exist alongside TN Grill restaurants.  The suburban TN Mart shops did not fit into this new business model.  That is why we closed them down.  The sites were not suitable for TN Grill restaurants either.”

In April this year, TN launched its virtual mart — where the retailer would deliver groceries worth at least $10  to its clientele’s doorstep at no extra charge as competition in the country’s retail sector intensifies. The company, according to its webisite, sells a wide range of consumer goods, mainly groceries with more than 3 000 lines on sale.

TN Mart also has a credit facility which allows customers who have bought furniture from TN Harlequin Luxaire to buy groceries on a 30-day credit period.

Sources close to the development, however, said TN Mart, one of the new entrants in the retail industry focusing on fast-moving consumer goods, closed branches in Glen Norah, Willowvale, Warren Park and Kuwadzana due to lukewarm market response.


The sources said the company’s  Robert Mugabe and Fourth Street branch in Harare had remained operational albeit experiencing low business, blighting the group’s prospects of rolling out more branches by year end.

“The market has had a lukewarm response to the virtual mart business model. Since closing the TN Grill First Street branch at the start of the year, business has been tough for the group,” said one source.

“The company is facing challenges in paying salaries on time. Nearly 80 workers have been affected by these closures although the workers have been transferred to other branches amid indications that they may soon be jobless.”

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18 Comments

  1. @Nyambirai discard the tuckshop mentality , focus on solid long term growth & not quick buck . Your business is crumbling around you even customers wonder whats next in your business model , what unit will be open or shut in 6 months time

  2. this guy sucks nxaaa…

  3. Serious problems with strategy are manifesting here. A fat opportunity for dissertation students studying business strategy

  4. WILLARD MUBVUMBI

    Why not get into partnership with a chinese firm?

  5. The guy was too ambitious from the start. Anyone who didn’t see this coming is as blind as a bat. Akaita machimbidza kumedza kutsenga uchada. The bank was Econet’s from the start and their analysts so this coming and Econet moved in to protect its investment.

    1. Taura hako!! The way he way he was starting businesses even in sectors he didn’t have any experience in it was inevitable that he would end up like this.

  6. tn mart was too expensive compared 2 other operators in kuwadzana were there are a lot of shops,the small shops we call tuckshops are doing good business.i hope tn didnt make the mistake of paying very high rentals in an area where thereare more players add high marketing costs,wages etc,kurukisheni havadi bling yakawanda havatenge teedzera ok,vanhu vacho havangobhenga mari inogara muhomwe

  7. I think this guy is too ambitious and greedy perhaps, he was forming companies at an alarming rate tn grill,tn pharmacy,tn health,tn furniture,tn bank ,tn supermarkets,tn everything how do you do that ?,help me I am not a businessman

    1. U are very correct Dr Seus, get it from me, coz I am a businessman, and the way he (TN) was going around opening new things, you could tell kuti zvaa zvisina business future. He had too much liquidity at his disposal. Wasiya imwe venture yake -TN cattle bank!! honestly?? .

      For those wanting to go into business, If your idea is NOT already on the market, either its a new invention/idea that will work, OR its stupid, so leave it. Analyse your idea realistically.

  8. tawanda nyambitai, anonyambita

  9. Lets hope it is not the work of some so called misguided elements of a certain political party as suggested in the NRZ issue

  10. the problem with TN is that you want to excersise all kinds of business mart, bank, grills blah blah and tthat shows your confusion focus on one thing and your revenue will be great and later on expand your line of business your expansion rate ws too much

  11. Total Nonsense(TN)

  12. Tawanda Nyambirai wen he came into business ndaitoti ndomunhu ka uyu but ndazozviona hapana hapana. A man of his calibre asingadi competition look at the way he now runs pelhams zvakatodhakwa!

  13. Shame, poor guy…. Hanzi Total Nonsense! Yandipedza iyi!

  14. many of people commenting here have never ventured into anything in life. Bussines is about taking calculated risks. If the TN bussiness fails, he still has his econet shares. Imwi mwechio wawata. Get a life.

    1. accomplice , business is not about ambitions but strategies , if you just start a business because you got money you will fail

      you will be like a man shooting aimlessly into the sky hoping to reach one star.

      business is for the broad minds not people of your mindset who runs around like headless chickens buying and renting and renovate them to do business for a month and close before you even recover start up costs.

      be wise.

  15. accomplice , business is not about ambitions but strategies , if you just start a business because you got money you will fail

    you will be like a man shooting aimlessly into the sky hoping to reach one star.

    business is for the broad minds not people of your mindset who runs around like headless chickens buying and renting buildings and renovate them to do business for a month and close before you even recover start up costs.

    be wise and get life

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