A Cabinet Minister has praised AML Foods' new $14.5 million Solomon's Yamacraw store for increasing food retail competition in eastern New Providence.
Ellsworth Johnson, minister of state for legal affairs, said the 38,000 square foot store would provide Bahamian consumers with increased choice when purchasing goods and services.
Speaking at the Yamacraw Hill Road store's official opening last Thursday, he said: "This newest store offers the residents of eastern New Providence more choice in shopping for groceries and other goods.
"Competition is good for the marketplace. And it is good for consumers to have more choice in the purchase of goods and services."
The food retail market in southeastern New Providence has long been dominated by Super Value and its owner, Rupert Roberts, through the chain's large Winton supermarket and the Quality Supermarkets outlet in the Prince Charles Drive Shopping Centre.
Mr Johnson, also the Yamacraw MP, said the investment by BISX-listed AML Foods was "an expression of confidence in the growth and recovery of the Bahamian economy, which continues to strengthen, though there is still too much unemployment - particularly youth unemployment".
Gavin Watchorn, AML Foods president and chief executive, hinted that the company plans to expand the Solomon's Yamacraw model and concept to other areas of New Providence.
"Today, we are pleased to officially welcome the new Solomon's Yamacraw location to our fleet of grocery stores throughout the country," he said. "This location adds 80 new jobs, bringing the total number of employees at Solomon's-branded retail outlets to just over 340," he said.
AML Foods executives announced that in addition to the recent Yamacraw expansion, the company has purchased land for development in southern New Providence.
"Even during these tough economic times, our plans continue for future expansion.
"We believe in the local economy and we will continue to serve the Bahamian community all while providing opportunities for employment and training for our team," Mr Watchorn said.
AML Foods broke ground on the Solomon's Yamacraw project in September 2016 after acquiring the five-acre site for $3 million from Luxury Homes Bahamas . The new Yamacraw location brings the total number of Solomon's-branded grocery stores in the Bahamas to four, including Solomon's Super Centre on Old Trail Road and Solomon's Lucaya and Solomon's Freeport on Grand Bahama.
"Our four Solomon's stores perform nearly 60,000 transactions on a weekly basis, and our team continues to source products that offer quality, value and real savings. We are looking forward to providing residents in the east with the same quality products and service that our other customers currently enjoy," Renea Bastian, the company's vice-president of marketing and communications, said.