Should STC buy from importers?


The question being asked is whether the supermarket is now a “dumping site” for anybody to come and virtually “litter” any type of goods from overseas, irrespective of their quality and expiry date.

These critics may or may not be truthful, but it is a point which warrants attention.
In the past the SMB, the predecessor of the STC, would import a variety of finished goods from overseas and sell them in its supermarket and its franchises, at prices which in many ways would be more affordable than those of its private sector competitors. This would be in addition to producing value-added goods at its various factories.

The general view is that the STC should still continue to import finished goods directly from overseas to supply its supermarket shelves, besides encouraging local small businesses that want to find an outlet to sell their locally manufactured products, for example jams, pickles and moulouk, all in line with government’s policy of encouraging local small businesses engaged in making value-added products.

But should the STC continue to play the role of second or perhaps even third middleman by buying finished goods imported into the country by importers who are themselves middlemen? This in many ways contributes to higher prices, and in an era where government is trying its best to bring down the cost of living should this practice be allowed to continue?
A Simple Citizen

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