Prime Minister, David Thompson, addressing the audience at the re-opening of Courts’ St. George Street Superstore.

Reducing the cost of goods while maintaining quality; improving service to customers; and helping local manufacturers add value to local produce; are some of the challenges being faced in Barbados during this economic recession.

Prime Minister David Thompson made this observation last Saturday, as he delivered an address at the grand reopening of Courts’ St. George Street Superstore.

With respect to cost reduction, Mr. Thompson noted that the new owners of Courts, the Unicomer Group of Companies, were buying in bulk from the many countries it sourced goods and services, and passing the savings on to customers.??????

He pointed out that in an economy where customers had choices, one of the things that distinguished a retailer from its competitors was the quality of service it offered.

"I am delighted to hear that Courts is not only taking advantage of the locally provided opportunities to train staff, but also capitalising on the state-of-the-art training being offered by large suppliers such a Sony.

"In the service sector, training of staff, particularly the gate-keepers, is absolutely essential for success. This applies to both the private and public sectors," the Prime Minister stated.

He also expressed interest in the efforts Courts was making to equip Barbadian entrepreneurs with the skills to access the "huge market" that it represented.

"I understand that in these trying times, Courts is paying local manufacturers on a weekly basis in order to improve their cash flow," Mr. Thompson remarked.

He stressed that the recession should not be seen as a disaster, but as an opportunity to go back to the drawing board and to become more productive and efficient.

"Now is the time we should be investing in training so that when the green roots of recovery begin to spring up, we are ready and able to make the most of them. Once again, let me stress that this is why 10 million dollars have been set aside by government this year for training," the Prime Minister said.

He commended management of the store for helping ordinary Barbadians to enjoy goods and services which were once considered luxuries.?? "Today, thanks to your special credit facilities, large numbers of working class Barbadians can access furnishing and electrical appliances that are necessities in the modern world," Mr. Thompson opined.

Courts’ St. George Street Superstore was reopened, following a street parade from its former location at Cave Shepherd on Broad Street.

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