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Super Value Chief Eyes Overtime Ease Via New Measures

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Rupert Roberts

By NEIL HARTNELL

Tribune Business Editor

nhartnell@tribunemedia.net

Super Value’s principal yesterday voiced hope that new shopping restrictions will “work better than what’s happening now” and enable him to reverse a 20 percent increase in overtime payroll.

Rupert Roberts told Tribune Business that the Prime Minister’s COVID-19 related plan for every household to designate a single shopper, and introduce a schedule where that person can only shop on certain days, would enable customers to spend more time in stores.

Emphasising that he was “100 percent in favour” of already-enacted social distancing measures, the Super Value chief said sales at some of his larger stores had dropped by between five to ten percent compared to the prior week due to customers having to queue in-line before they can enter.

“I hope that works better than what’s happening now,” Mr Roberts said of the new measures unveiled by Dr Hubert Minnis on Sunday evening. “Our sales are actually off in the big stores because people can’t get into shop. It’s different areas, but it’s five to ten percent down in the big stores. Winton seemed to be the exception. They did a little more.

“The other big stores couldn’t get the sales in. The social distancing has really slowed down the rate of shopping, but I’m not surprised. I expected the sales to go down this week, not because they were panicked shopping, but the customers have been there and couldn’t get in. At Cable Beach on Sunday they were line up the whole length of the shopping centre from Super Value to Wendy’s.

“We are spreading them out, and it’s half the spend it used to be as they cannot get the shopping in. The wait is too long. Right now it’s going to slow. They’re lined up and they just cannot shop. We’re not going to do the sales with restricted shopping that we did with unrestricted shopping.”

Mr Roberts suggested that the Prime Minister’s latest shopping restrictions will reduce the number of persons visiting food stores, and in doing so cut the length of time they have to wait outside under the already-announced social distancing protocols.

He added that many were likely visiting supermarkets as a way to escape the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, treating it as an “outing” and way to escape the confines of their home.

Warning the Government against any further cuts to shopping hours, Mr Roberts told Tribune Business: “We used to stay open until 9pm. Now it’s 7pm, but even with that overtime payroll went up 20 percent because we have to keep more people on the job to keep up the same level of service.

“I hope it works out better. If not we’ll report it to the authorities what’s happening and hope they tweak it.”

Comments

ohdrap4 1 year, 6 months ago

If this curfew has only 7 days to go, why bother?

Maybe ssles are down because people are eating their stockpile.

As for only one shopper per household, who is going to issue the sticker?

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tell_it_like_it_is 1 year, 6 months ago

Well, Roberts has a point. When I saw the lines at Super Value... I said "Heck No!!" Even though I wanted to shop there, I changed my mind and decided to wait. lol

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SP 1 year, 6 months ago

May have saved your life!

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birdiestrachan 1 year, 6 months ago

It is not a law. and the days have not yet been allocated?

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 6 months ago

Notice how quiet he is about the inventory levels in his warehouse that are needed for re-stocking his food stores.

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SP 1 year, 6 months ago

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Rupert Roberts, the government, and nobody else has raised an eyebrow about food store cashiers close customer contact and exposure to infected Covid19 carriers among the 1000,s of people they serve on a daily bases!

I was totally mortified to see the cashier staff dealing with customers unprotected from this extremely highly contagious virus dealing one on one with-in 2 feet of each and every customer.

Roberts should be ashamed of himself for putting his team on the front line in unquestionable harm's way without proper masks.

If need be, the government should immediately access their own stockpile to provide masks for these people before THEY infect the entire country as people purchase food.

This is a major oversite on the government's behalf that could easily cause the opposite effect of what we are trying to achieve.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 6 months ago

Masks and gloves come at a cost and the very greedy Rupert Roberts is not about to voluntarily do anything that eats into his profits.

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birdiestrachan 1 year, 6 months ago

Mr: Roberts will learn soon enough that with so many unemployed people there will be less money to spend.

People will have to cut back . and he will feel the lost.

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SP 1 year, 6 months ago

Actually, I wouldn't doubt that Roberts and the government were dupped by the misconception perpetuated by President Trump and the US government that masks were useless, just because they needed to secure all the masks they could for themselves.

Looking objectively at our whole scenario to date, the governments' early shutdown tactic is a very bold step in an attempt to curtail the spread of Covid19, and I support their decision 110%!

That being said, unfortunately, obviously, they did not factor in the need to ensure essential service providers i.e. cashiers and line staff of food stores, gas stations, pharmacies, and other businesses front line staff left in place to deal with the entire population were adequately protected against becoming infected themselves, and worse being carriers of the virus, and infecting many of those they come in contact with.

Now that the truth is out that wearing masks is actually an absolute necessity in the war against Covid19, the government needs to be agile, and adult enough to realize their shortcomings, and pivot to make the necessary adjustments to mitigate the oncoming deluge of cases headed our way in the next 10 to 15 days.

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The attorney general might want to look into who in the US government is responsible for putting out the deliberate misleading propaganda that masks were not necessary for everybody just for their own agenda leading to any number of Bahamians and people from other Caribbean jurisdictions suffering and/or dying needlessly.

Those responsible must be held accountable!

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