TN hits hard times


DIVERSIFIED group, TN Lifestyle Holdings, has announced plans to close over 10 outlets by end of next month as the group scales down operations to reduce operational costs, the company has said.

By Acting Business Editor

According to a statement issued by the group yesterday, TN will, with effect from today, shut down seven TN Harlequin, TN Grill and TN Mart branches across the country as depressed consumer demand hurt the business. Apart from winding down some of its operations, the group also announced plans to effect job cuts in a desperate bid to improve efficiency.

Group chief executive officer Tawanda Nyambirai said: “We have decided to close several branches throughout Zimbabwe in order to reduce operating costs.
“The Lifestyle group employs 1 420 employees. The group cannot sustain these levels of staff costs. A decision has been made to retrench employees that are excess to the group’s requirements.

“Because of this sad development, staff morale is low . . . We would shorten the duration of the retrenchment exercise were it not for the fact that the Zimbabwe retrenchment laws are rated amongst the most complicated and most difficult in the world.”

The company, according to the statement, will close most branches in Harare, Bulawayo and other small towns. Last year Nyambirai told NewsDay that a sharp rise in rentals for retail properties against the backdrop of an underperforming economy had also affected performance of the business. While the group has been closing down some of its fast food outlets, competition on the other hand has been engaging on growing business.

The development comes barely a week after the country’s tax collector warned of more company closures and scaling down of operations. The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) has warned of more company closures, scaling down of operations and a subsequent decline in company tax as Treasury continues to operate under a tight fiscal space.

Treasury last year missed its revenue target for the year ending December 2013 by 8% on the back of underperformance of diamond revenue and massive company closures amid a relentless push by the civil service to increase the wage bill.

According to the National Social Security Authority Harare regional employer closures and registrations report for the period July 2011 to July 2013 shows 711 companies in Harare closed down, rendering 8 336 individuals jobless as the economy continues to underperform.


  1. There s a song that goes ‘tirikumhanya tirikumhanya’, at 1 point i said to a friend that the way he was opening those shops was a reflection of that song. Now whats going on? Didn t he see the way the economy was heading…i thot he was wiser than that.

  2. With the rate at which companies are scaling down operations, the future looks bleak for Zim. I can foresee the headlines saying Zimbabwe closes up, relocates to South Africa

  3. I thought Nyambirai was the Master of Sell-by-Going Concern Strategy. However, i had thought he was a shrewd business Strategist. He is an ordinary reactionary business man.. TN business model along “Chiyangwa’s clueless diversity” was always a time bomb in an economy that was going one way. My borne of contention with Tawanda is not on diversity but on failing to read the market. If liquidity is drying up and your business model relies on tapping into new consumers in a very harsh competitive environment why rush to open up many branches?. Slowly and very slowly he should have eaten into Innscor and Mutyebere competitive strengths instead of “Tirikumhanya tirikumhanya ” notion they pursued.

    • ndidzo type dzicha broker here idzi..angatoshaya yekupa maworkers akawandsa ayo nt kt iye ashaye vakadz ngoma ndiyo ndiyo anotongocwira..

  4. The ‘tirikumhanya tirikumhanya’ merchant was too eager to opening many outlets without taking stock of the viability of each line of business.
    Im glad he has put some rakes and now doing what he should have done in the first place.

  5. Seems this guy was in a self destrucive mode.
    I heard he was everything in the organisation from janitor to cashier, foreman and bank teller.

    Typical of lawyers that they think they know everything and understand nothing like delegation.

    • You right akazviwanza,he became well know for dating his staff members slashing money on them buying cars,houses…


  7. Tirikumhanya semabenz vamwe varikutevera sematractor,

    Mabenz aye akusiiwa nematractor vana Mutyebere! Mashura kikkkkkk

  8. A curious growth strategy indeed! Yet another Zimbabwean decision that appears to be unreasonable. I suspect the group was set-up as a vehicle to allow Econet to venture into banking. I recall the telecoms giant being denied a licence to operate a bank. Answer, open one through a proxy then buy out the proxy at an appropriate time! Now Econet has it’s bank and Nyambirai his shares. Very smart!

    • beg to differ bro nothing smart about this at all, what happens to the 1420 jobless pple in the end? and why go through all that hustle jus to sell off a bank??he has jus created more problems for himself than anythin, unless thats your defination of “smart.” if econet really wanted a bank they could get it through other smarter means, they were just entangled in a mess with this guy who abused their funds hence debt for equity deal which saw them take full control of the bank. opening all those shops and branches only to close and wind down in less than a year jus shows poor planning poor strategy poor vision and most of all overzealousness! nothing smart at all about that!

      • It’s Econet that is smart. You should understand that there are a lot of people who are not comfortable with Strive’s projects.

  9. Quite happy to see that the chickens have come home to roost for TN who manipulated the share values at the onset of ‘dollarisation’ to get rid of small investors. He who covets all, loses all my friend!

  10. Tawanda’s strategy was criticised before but instead he was provided with acres and acres of space in one of the publications to defend his warped thinking. He believed in his expertise so much that he thought his business model was a success, yet he was abusing Econet funds to spread his tentantacles too thinly and too widely. Ian Smith in his wisdom provided amneties for the blacks which included beerhalls in high density areas so that they could relax with friends during weekends and holidays or even after work. Now Nyambirai together with the mentally bankrupt council officials in their combined wisdom thought it was a brilliant idea to convert these beerhalls into retail shops that sell furniture and groceries on credit – mistake number 1. The capital expenditure to convert and renovate the beerhalls and the operating expenses was never going to be paid back by meagre pathetic sales to an impoverished community.

    Those who are in the know will recall that in the 1990s there was a global phenomenon led by diversified conglomerates which focused on unbundling of their business and focusing on the core. The thinking was that you can not be a jack of all trades and be the master of all!!! Corporates began to focus on their core business, where they had a competitive advantage and better knowledge. Zimbabwe has good case studies for this Delta (disposed of OK, Zimsun, Pelhams etc) and focused on their consolidated beverages business. TA did the same by selling off Aroma etc. This is conventional wisdom supported by empirical evidence. You can not run a commercial bank, medical aid society, furniture shop, supermarket, cattle bank, take away shop etc and suceed at the end of the day. You require a different set of skills for each and ensure the consolidation is seemless, have proper synergies to improve on efficiencies and above all you need good leadership skills and strategic thinking prowess.

    • Well said, The problem with lawyers is that they don’t accept advice. I once worked for this guy and we highlighted the shortcomings of his strategy but it fell on deaf ears….. Mr Tawanda we can’t afford to venture in:
      i. Banking
      ii. furniture
      iii. fast foods/ restaurants
      iv. medical aid.
      v. Grocery shops
      vi. pharmacy
      And above all trading on credit.

  11. mr nyambirai fire your ict manager. we gave him a proposal to give the group an upto date business architecture for software that would manage all your entities and have business intelligence reporting. but akaramba and now you are broke

    companies that big cant operate without software …. tough luck next time

  12. kunyepera Mwari kunge munhu anonamata achiita madress.this is a punishment from heaven unfortunately workers are caught in cross fire

  13. What is funny is the employees were given termination notices more than three months ago and he still expects them to go to work. Most of his employees have not been paid for the past four months. Does he even think how they are surviving? What are they using to get to work as he expects them at work? How are their children going to school without fees being paid? How are they living in their homes without rentals being paid? How are they surviving without food in their homes? TN is downright cruel and he claims to be a christian and that is not how christians act at all. This is something else. He needs to start addressing salary payments for his workers who have been faithfully coming to work without any money in their pockets

  14. Kikikikikikikikikiki Gladys showgrounds Saleslady came Regional Manager wakatora wakarambinisa nemurume ukapa murume wacho US$100,000, Majoni wakaitisa mwana, vese vakadzi vane short hair muTN ndevako, mukadzi wese anemota mucompany yako ndevako kkkkkkkkk kusara kwaMrs. Dongo wawakatadza kudzinga

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