February 5, 2021
Local Retailers and Distributors Commit to Maintain Prices during the Period of the National Pause & Take A Firm Stand Against Price Gouging
Local retailers and distributors within the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) membership have pledged to maintain price margins for personal protective equipment (PPE) and a basket of basic food items during the period of the “national pause” as COVID-19 continues to impact consumers and the local economy.
These members unanimously agreed to pledge support to take a stand against price gouging, that is, “taking advantage of increased demand to increase prices of goods and services in the current crisis”, declaring that this will neither be practiced nor tolerated.
We, however, wish to highlight that the ability to maintain a pricing regime for consumers during this current period will be impacted by both local and international supplier price increases. We, particularly, highlight the significant impact of these external challenges on the increased price of canned fish as this product falls within the essential basket of goods.
In the interest of public transparency and awareness we take this opportunity to inform the public that certain international logistical impacts will negatively impact on the cost of imports arriving in Barbados and the region in the upcoming months after the lockdown, notably the impending doubling of freight costs from the Far East.
We also express concern regarding the potential price impact of the non-clearance of non-essential goods from the Bridgetown Port and the impact on landed costs during the period of the national pause. We, however, recognize that the Barbados Port Inc. has signaled its intention to waive port storage charges during the period of the “national pause” and this will assist in partially offsetting the impact of significant demurrage on items classified as non-essential during the lockdown.
The commitment to freeze margins and to take a stand against price gouging during the period of the national shutdown is signed by the following operators in the local retail and distribution sector, who are members of the Chamber:
- Vidia Woods, Chief Executive Officer on behalf of HANSCHELL INNISS LTD.
- Louis Griffith, Director, Purchasing on behalf of L. SEALE & CO LTD
- Brian Fernandes, Manager Retail Division on behalf of THE PEOPLE’S MARKET
- Adrian Padmore, Chief Executive Officer on behalf of BRYDENS STOKES LTD.
- Glenn Taylor, Vice President on behalf MASSY DISTRIBUTION (BARBADOS) LTD.
- Randall Banfield, Chief Executive Officer on behalf of MASSY STORES (BARBADOS) LTD.
- Andrew Bynoe, Managing Director on behalf of AONE SUPERMARKETS
- Andy Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer on behalf of ARMSTRONG AGENCIES
- Robert Morris, General Manager, ARMSTRONG HEALTH CARE
- Prem Melwani, Director on behalf of MELWANI’S LIMITED