Commerce Minister, Dwight Sutherland (second right), in discussion with the management of Trimart supermarket and ministry officials while on tour of Trimart, Mile-And-a-Quarter, St. Peter, today. (GP)

With at least one supermarket already utilizing hand-held scanners at its establishment, Commerce Minister Dwight Sutherland says he can see Barbados utilizing the digital platform to engage in a lot of e-commerce, whether through delivery or buying online.

He expressed this today following a visit to Trimart, Mile-And-A-Quarter in St. Peter, where he engaged in discussions with management, toured the facility, and later spoke to media representatives.

The supermarket chain was praised for embracing the e-commerce aspect of retailing, through the purchase of a handheld scanner.

“I think we have seen this at Walmart and this speaks to world class commerce, because these are some of the things we have been advocating; this is the age of technology. E-commerce has to be built on a sound information communication and technological platform,” Mr. Sutherland said, as he congratulated chairman of the supermarket chain, Tony Catlyn.

Further commending the business for being the first supermarket chain on the island to embark on the venture, the Commerce Minister said handheld scanning of goods spoke to “getting customers out of a store quickly’ as well as “how fast can we dispatch customers”.

“Indeed, this is pioneering in Barbados, and it is pleasing to hear. It is not the first of its kind because we see these within the first world countries, but we are engaging in first world commerce and that augurs well for the retail sector.  I am certain others hearing this will catch on. And, Mr. Catlyn, you are the pioneer in this regard, and I want to congratulate you on behalf of the Government, and indeed keep the push because coming out of the COVID-19 crisis we recognize it is not business as usual,” the Minister added.

Meanwhile, Mr. Catlyn, noting that the first trial run of the handheld scanner was 15 days ago, said it had not been rolled out at every branch, but was at Channell, Collymore Rock.

“It is one scanner where an individual employee would go through, as you are waiting in line to get to the cash register, once you are finished shopping, and scan all the goods that are in your basket and produce a UPC code. While you are waiting there, whether it is 10 or 15 minutes, the point is that when you get to the cash register you don’t have to wait another five minutes.  It’s just a quick transaction; you pay your bill, pack your groceries and you leave,” he explained.

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