A saving: Shopping on a Wednesday at certain grocery stores is about to get cheaper. *iStock photo
A saving: Shopping on a Wednesday at certain grocery stores is about to get cheaper. *iStock photo

Grocery stores in Bermuda decided to offer an extra five per cent off on Wednesdays to help out Bermudians in hard times — and have conceded that the move will cost them money. 

In Friday’s Throne Speech, it was announced MarketPlace, Lindo’s and Supermart would offer a ten per cent discount on Wednesdays — doubling their current midweek discount.

It sparked speculation that the Government must have struck some kind of deal with the stores and/or that it must be tied to the simultaneous announcement that some stores will be allowed to sell liquor on Sundays. 

Not so, say both Zach Moniz of Lindo’s and Tredick Gorham of Supermart.

They both told us that government provided no incentive in exchange for the extra five per cent. Neither is there a link with offering the discount and liquor sales on Sundays.  

But how will the bigger discount affect custom and profit margins for the stores?

Mr Moniz, manager of the Lindo’s Group and Mr Gorham, president of Supermart, both said the move is solely to help customers in rough times.

Mr Moniz said he feels the move was something the grocery stores felt they “should do... I believe Tredick Gorham met with government and had a discussion about what the grocery stores could do and then government sort of reached out to MarketPlace, Lindo’s and Supermart and said ‘Are you willing to be able to do this?’ and obviously, we said ‘yes’.”

Asked if there could be additional revenue as a result, Mr Moniz said: “We have a population of consumers that’s not going to expand so it really is giving consumers a break on Wednesdays.

 “I don’t think it is to help revenue. It’s going to help consumers.”

Smart purchases

He continued: “Now saying that, consumers need to be smart about what they purchase. As a group of consumers, we now have much more financial pressure on us than ever before.

“When you consider everyone had a cellphone and CableVision and internet, these are three things that are extra financial burdens on people that we never had before. So the discretionary capital that you have to spend on food has dwindled because of all the things that we have in our homes.”

Asked how the initiative will affect Supermart, Mr Gorham said: “How it affects us is of course, we’re going to lose five per cent.

“It’s a one year at a time deal. We were asked what can we do for our part and obviously, doing something like that is easy to implement, it’s quick to implement.

“Each store has its own solution to the problem.”

He continued: “Our goal of course is to find a way, like everybody in Bermuda, to reduce the costs of the goods we sell.

“How we do that is tricky because you also don’t want to go out of business, so this is the first step.”

Mr Gorham said aside from the goods, there are a lot of other costs associated with running a store including shipping, electricity, salaries and more.

“We have to recognize that it’s the number one [expense] for everyone in Bermuda. You can’t expect people to take a break in their income if they can’t find a way to take a break in their costs.

“If you reduce the income, you have got to reduce the costs. Five per cent reduces the cost.

“Even though I don’t expect people to buy more on that day, we will lose money on everything we sell. We have to find a way to make it work.”

The ten per cent discount is for cash only purchases and starts on December 4.