The streamlining of DaCosta Manning retail stores has resulted in 45 employees going home.
Executive Directive for Retail, Paul Rowe, explained this morning that 35 workers had accepted voluntary separation packages, while 10 others were made redundant island wide.
Rowe pointed to the closure of the Fontabelle branch, a decision which he said was made a long time ago, following discussions with the relevent parties.
“As it relates to the Fontabelle location, we would have had some persons that would have been transferred within the body of the organisation, not DaCosta Manning Retail Limited, but BS&T,” he added.
“So we would have had about between eight and 10 persons transferring to the Super Centre location, and throughout the process was one where you would have opened up for persons that elected for voluntary separation. Through this process we would have had about 35 persons who would have opted for voluntary separation.”
Rowe said too, that 10 people were also absorbed within the Super Centre supermarket and last Friday, Fontabelle would have traded for the final time. As far as the proposed relocation of DaCosta Manning Warrens branch was concerned, that move was expected to happen by late this year.
“We are possibly looking at a September opening for the integrated format and location; and this location might very well, for a few weeks, run parallel until that is fully up and running,” Rowe stated.
He said the planned megastore for Christ Church was still on the cards, but could not provide a date for the start of construction. The business leader told reporters he did not know what business would replace DaCosta Manning at Warrens, when it moved into the nearby Super Centre complex. He observed that the company was operating in challenging economic times and the market share for businesses was not getting any bigger.
“Our type of business, as you know, is predominantly driven by credit through the different credit vehicles, whether it be a credit card or whether it be through a hire purchase mechanism. So right now, it is a little difficult, because you are seeing fluctuations depending on the spend…
“It is a difficult time in the economy. In our type of business, it is what we consider a secondary purchase, because food and any kind of service is a first. So we are fighting the battle in terms of how big the pie is and what market share we can take.”
With respect to delinquency in its hire purchases, the store head acknowledged that it was no worse now than a year ago.