by Marlon Madden
Major changes could be on the cards for the Barbados Lumber Company in coming months, according to information reaching Today’s BUSINESS.
However, officials are tight-lipped about the development, with one senior executive of the company only stating that “companies always make changes”, when asked about the plans for the business’ Waterford, St Michael location.
In recent times, there have been speculation that it could be on the verge of closing. Other sources have hypothesised that after years of planning, the company could be closer to carrying out major upgrades of the flagship store, which has been trading from Waterford since 1973.
The company has another location in Church Street, Speightstown, St Peter, which was officially opened in March 2015.
When asked if there was a plan to close the Waterford branch of the lumber and hardware company, the senior executive declined to comment, but indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the operations, especially due to logistics challenges.
However, when asked if the company was looking to carry out major upgrades at the location, he said: “companies always make changes.
It is exactly what form those changes will take. That is as much as I will say at this time. If there are any changes we will communicate those in due time.”
“If you go back and look at the history of the company we have a really sizeable area here at Waterford, so the possibilities are endless . . . but in terms of what that specific closing of branch or whatever there isn’t really anything to comment on at this time,” he said.
The lumber company, which is located a stone’s throw away from the sprawling, picturesque National Botanical Gardens, has been in line for major upgrades since the year 2000, but has been delayed several times.
The late former Executive Chairman and co-founder Rawle Brancker had noted back in 2015 that over the years there have been plans to upgrade the Waterford location, but due to several “setbacks” those plans had to be put off.
At the time, Brancker had noted that both Barbados Labour Party and Democratic Labour Party administrations have met with company officials because they “wanted to use the land, which the Lumber Company is on for expansion of the [National] Stadium and, on the other side, they were planning to build a botanical garden where the NCC [National Conservation Commission] is now, and using our spot for the restaurants and the bathroom because of the zone one water situation.”
In addition to lumber, hardware and other building products, the company sells a range of plumbing and electrical supplies.