The high level of unemployment among the island’s youth could take a “tumble” if they take up an offer to become retailers of perfumes, colognes and women clothing imported by businessman, Ron Straker, of Hollywood Imports on Lower Bay Street, the City.
Straker made this offer to the island’s youth earlier today during an interview with a team from Barbados TODAY. Straker, a returning national, who lived in Los Angeles for 38 years, said he decided to enter the wholesale trade following a visit to Barbados during which he recognised the high cost of living and the “soul destroying level of unemployment among the youth”.
He argued that the cost of perfumes, men’s cologne, women’s clothing and lingerie could be drastically reduced by the main retail outlets in Barbados. He stressed that he initially opened the outlet two years ago to offer better prices to consumers and unemployed youth who “languish” on the island’s street corners.
Straker maintained that he was able to offer better prices to customers because he buys his stock in bulk directly from the factories in Los Angeles, adding: “I have spent most of my life in the Los Angeles area and know the area well. I visit the factories and buy my stock thereby eliminating the middle man.
“Also when you buy in bulk you reduce the unit cost of the goods. I can then bring them to Barbados and sell them at a competitive price. This explains why I would like to encourage the boys on the block to visit his outlet, purchase some of the goods and become self-employed.”
He said too he saw no value in “suitcase traders” buying an airline ticket for $1,500 to Miami, pay for accommodation at a hotel, buy US$1,000 in product and then pay customs duty at the airport, and afterward try to sell them to poor people.
“I never intended to get into the retail business, but the island’s youth seem not to recognise an opportunity to be self-employed,” Straker told Barbados TODAY. (NC)