CPJ gets creative with inventory to cushion COVID-19's impact

Regional

CPJ gets creative with inventory to cushion COVID-19's impact

BY ONOME SIDO
Observer West writer

Thursday, April 09, 2020

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MONTEGO BAY, St James - With over 5,000 different products in its inventory, Caribbean Producers Limited (CPJ) has taken a novel approach to eliminate items usually consumed by businesses which have been shuttered due to the deadly COVID-19. Heavily discounted items can now be picked up in the company's store or kerbside at its Montego Bay location.

Executive chairman for CPJ Mark Hart explained that the decision was made by some of his key employees who he said are aware of the impact that the novel coronavirus is having on the tourism industry.

“The box deals were actually the brainchild of some of our key team members. We saw that we would have a lot of overstock of inventory when hotels shut down and we know the impact of tourism on the economy first hand,” Hart told the Jamaica Observer West.

He further noted that he is also aware of the impact that the virus has on hotel workers, as well as persons who had minimal income or were completely out of a job.

“As a company, we made a conscious decision to price almost all of the items we offer at, or below cost, in order to help the communities. Those people [hotel workers] form a network that supports the tourism product as a whole, and therefore our business, and we want the benefit of inexpensive food to be felt by them, to help in a direct way with their out-of-pocket expenses and put food on their tables,” Hart argued.

Sharai Campbell, one of the many consumers who waited patiently in line on Monday for a deal box, expressed appreciation “even though the wait was a bit lengthy.”

“I think the CPJ deals are great, budget- friendly and the timing is perfect. Although the lines seemed long, they moved quickly, the staff was friendly and the best part was I didn't need to get out of my car,” said Campbell.

Saneika Stewart shared similar sentiments.

“I went to get the new frozen box. There were two car lines, one for cash and one for card [credit/debit]. It was very easy, you drive up and tell them what you want and they ask you to open your trunk and they placed the items in it,” said Stewart, adding that “they are very friendly, very fast and efficient”.

She added that she was extremely surprised at the large portions in her box and the price she paid for the items.

According to CPJ's customer service unit, deals are offered at the company's Montego Bay stores on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The deals may include products such as shrimp, beef, beers, wines, rum, pork, pastas, fries, cereal, cheese sauce, among other items.

Updates on the deals are done via CPJ's social media platforms.


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