SAN Fernando West MP Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan has challenged the management of the newest Hi-Lo Superstore to add more local content by promoting product created by young entrepreneurs.
Seepersad-Bachan said many young people needed an avenue to showcase the goods and services they create.
“This will help our economy of Trinidad and Tobago, as we move towards diversification. A super centre is ideal and perhaps there can be room in this super centre for more local products from small businesses in Trinidad and Tobago,” she said.
Seepersad-Bachan was speaking at the opening of the Hi-Lo Gulf View Store in La Romaine, yesterday.
The Hi Lo supermarket chain is a subsidiary of the Neal and Massy Group.
Neal and Massy Group president Gervase Warner said the Hi-Lo Gulf View store was the largest supermarket in the country and was focused on bringing people together.
“We in Trinidad and Tobago are blessed, we need to understand how lucky we are and start to behave like it. We are exemplars for the rest of the Caribbean. People wish they were blessed with the oil and gas resources and the fountain of fund that we have in Trinidad and Tobago. I beseech all of us to start taking up the mantle of example, that’s what we need and stand for and why we built this store,” he said.
Neal and Massy executive for the retail line of business Thomas Pantin said the latest super centre was completed in 12 weeks and is outfitted with a well-trained staff of 300.
Pantin said the Hi-Lo Gulf View store was the 17th outlet, and the first of its kind in Trinidad and Tobago.
He said the retail showroom was 34,000 square feet and includes produce, bakery, grocery, frozen food and meat, electronics, household appliances and soft furnishings.
Pantin said a similar store was opened in Barbados last year.
Hi-Lo Food Stores chief executive officer Derek Winford said the latest store marks a new era in the history of Hi-Lo. He said the store can be compared with any in the world. He said the super centre included a lunch menu, coffee and salad bar. The main grocery area provided customers with the largest aisles and themed lanes to enhance their shopping experience.
Winford said a butcher was on hand to assist customers through the vast frozen food department.
“And take a walk through, what I call, adventure land where you will find small appliances, kitchen ware, soft furnishings for bathroom and bedroom, stereos, flat screen TV and many other electronic items,” he said.
As the Hi-Lo Gulf View Store was declared opened yesterday, dozens of anxious customers stood outside the doors waiting to begin their shopping experience at the new location.