• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

We are out to support local suppliers

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Next Cash & Carry, last week, became the latest shopping mall to join the growing number of large retail outlets in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Rob Hardwick, company’s general manager, while speaking with BusinessDay after the opening ceremony in Abuja, said the company was out to support serious local suppliers as about 80 percent of products were sourced locally, except where such products cannot be sourced locally.

“We believe in supporting local markets and local industry, and we have already been checking through some local farmers, for poultry, foods and vegetables. So, everything you see in our shop right now have been sourced locally from our agents,” he said.

The shopping complex, located on Ahmadu Bello Way, Wuse II, is on the outskirts of the city centre in a densely populated region of the city. The shop is well stocked with both food and non-food items. Within a few weeks of its operations, the outlet already has achieved over 10,000

customers out of a target of 75,000 with loyalty cards. “We really haven’t gone on our customer drive yet. Our strategy was to open the shop first, to get the machines working and then we will start recruiting customers,” the general manager said.

The organisation, which has already provided jobs for over 200 Nigerians, also has segmented its customers into 32 different key market categories, including the small food independent retailers, caterers, hotels, schools, hospitals, among others, with each having different profiles.

Despite the strong commitments to supporting local industry, however, the company says only about 80 percent of products needs are being met by local supply, a situation that may force them to look elsewhere, including importation to fill the vacuum.

“Our range offerings at the moment is probably about only 80 percent of where it should be, and this is the range that we have struggled to get and we may have to import to satisfy these 32 market segments,” he said.

 

TONY AILEMEN