President of the Supermarket Association of Trinidad and Tobago, Vernon Persad, yesterday said he was impressed by the efficiency with which some groceries removed the 15 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) from their goods.
Persad yesterday met Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar at the Xtra Foods supermarket in the Grand Bazaar and explained how consumers have saved money.
"For every $8 spent, you get one dollar back. For example, turkey, for every $100 spent, you are getting $15 dollars off, for a ham that is about $300, you are getting back almost $40 back," he said.
Both Persad-Bissessar and Persad praised the grocery for being far ahead with its implementation of the new prices.
"Even if the reduction is not on the shelves, I have been told that it is in the system and it is in your bill you will see the savings," she said.
Xtra Foods general manager Farook Nabbie yesterday said even with outstanding questions on some items, the supermarket took the private decision to start marking down the goods.
"We decided to put yellow tabs on the reduced items so people will know what it was and what it is now," he said.
"Despite the fact that there are still some questions,we worked through the night to change the prices on the shelves and in the system, so we may not have been able to mark all the items but we will keep doing that throughout the day," he said.
Nabbie said as much as 5,000 items have already been re-labelled.
"And we still have a lot more to do but the bulk is done," he added..
He said the store was fully computerised and even then they were stymied by the magnitude of the task.
"We had to stop several times in the night because the system started slowing down," he said.
By midday yesterday, just hours before the Prime Minister's impromptu visit, workers could be seen affixing yellow tabs onto items and crossing out previous shelf prices.
"We wanted to be ready for today and if there are any changes we will adjust to suit," Nabbie said.