The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion George Guvamatanga said retail shops that are complaining about tuckshops taking their markets have useless managements that deserve to be “fired”, saying they have business advantages that should put them ahead of the latter.
Addressing business people at the Zimbabwe Economic Development Conference (ZEDCON), Guvamatanga said tuckshops are not enjoying advantages like access to cheaper foreign currency and credit which should place them behind retailers as they enjoy all these benefits. He said complaints that tuckshops are taking business away from retailers are surprising.
“How do you complain about a tuckshop which is paying 5 times more per square metre rent, doesn’t have access to credit, so buys all goods on cash, does not have access to cheaper foreign currency available in the market as they have to go to the parallel market, possibly does not have better systems than that you have, and you say you are not able to compete because you are being taken out of business by tuckshops?.
“If I was the board, I would fire you because you will be useless management,” said Guvamatanga.
He said Tuckshops were not unique to Zimbabwe, mentioning South Africa where the Spaza business is also thriving.
“In South Africa, the Spaza business is over US$10 billion dollars. But you never hear retail shops Like Shoprite complaining. But here in Zimbabwe we have a lot of F.Ds (Finance Directors ) and M.Ds (Managing Directors) who do not know what to do,” he said.
He encouraged businesses to change as new economies emerge. Meanwhile, Guvamatanga said the country should move away from from viewing tuckshops as informal businesses. He said they should be called Micro businesses or Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
The sentiments come after OK Zimbabwe recently came all out against tuckshops, accusing them of taking business away from retail shops.