by Emmanuel Joseph
After being ordered closed about five months ago due to environmental and safety concerns, the 43-year old Furniture Limited Department Store on Cumberland Street, the City, is scheduled to reopen to business on Monday.
Managing Director Ram Merchandani told Barbados TODAY this afternoon, that the newly renovated bottom floor would be used as a self service retail store and the top floor would be a storage facility.
Merchandi took a team from this newspaper on tour of the now spacious, new look facilities, with newly arranged counters, shelves and a variety of hardware items.
Where earlier concerns had been expressed by health authorities and fire officials, corrective measures had been implemented, Merchandani said.
These included improved ventilation through the deployment of several industrial fans, increased lighting, smoke detectors, an unimpeded fire exit, extinguishers, employees amenities and security cameras.
The transformation of the bottom floor is a far cry from its previous state, all part of an effort to create a more customer- and worker-friendly environment.
“We will not have any excess stock in the store and we will be offering the best prices as we did back in the 1960s,” Merchandani declared.
She said the recession had thwarted earlier plans to provide more extensive facilities.
The well known business woman had earlier disclosed that the plan was to restructure the store into a modern mall that comprised about eight shops for rental, food court, a lounge, mess hall and an entertainment section with a stage.
Reliable sources told Barbados TODAY that the Environmental Health Protection Department was continuously monitoring the store and the Barbados Fire Service intended to inspect the building again, to determine if it was satisfied with the new measures put in place. [email protected]