ISPC Seychelles Ltd forced to restrict access


12-September-2018

ISPC Seychelles Ltd opened a wholesale store in Seychelles (SIBA Zone) in 2006 answering at the time to the government’s request of having a professional food supplier investment in Seychelles to serve the tourism industry professionals.

ISPC has never retailed in its country of origin, Belgium and Holland, and its stores although bigger were laid out like the ISPC Seychelles store. And ISPC stores in Belgium and Holland have also a restricted access to professionals and businesses not allowing individuals to purchase. And all of our competitors (Metro, Hanos, Sligro just to name a few) have the same kind of stores (cash & carry) for professionals only. No one in this industry wholesales and retails in the same store. Neither can ISPC Seychelles Ltd without negatively affecting seriously its service to the professionals of the industry.

A while after ISPC Seychelles Ltd opening, we received several requests to make our products available to all. So we’ve tried to franchise some existing food retail stores offering a complete solution to them but rapidly we have realised that they didn’t understand the concept and our shelves in their stores were empty or filled up with non ISPC products. So we have invested some €600,000 (SCR9.6 million) in four new retail stores and named them ISPC Supermarket fresh.

At the ISPC Seychelles wholesale store in the SIBA Zone again to answer positively to authorities’ requests, we started to be lenient and allowed individuals to come in. In order to avoid small purchases which are not compatible with a wholesale organisation like our one, we have maintained the SCR25 first called document charge. We could have opted for an entry fee which would have been more constraining for all.

Suddenly, after 10 years (...), the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) questions this document charge and after several discussions and letters, we have changed the denomination from “Document charge” to “Service charge” like in the hotel industry and restaurants in Seychelles.

But that wasn’t enough after all, and FTC chased us to cancel it completely or, if charged, FTC requested that we would have on our invoices a full description of the delivered services. We pointed out to FTC (and we still do!) that no one else in Seychelles displays on the bills or invoices a full description of the “service charges”. On all the hotels and restaurants bills there isn’t a description which complies to FTC summon “Ensure that the description is not a default list which applies to all consumers but rather specific to the services or goods supplied to the specific consumer”. Nevertheless, FTC threatened us with heavy fines (up to SCR500,000) if we wouldn’t comply.

So we have cancelled the SCR25 Service Charge not to be fined but in order to remain a wholesaler’s store for professionals and businesses, we are now back to the beginning of ISPC Seychelles Ltd when, as we have always done in Belgium and Holland, we restrict access to our wholesale store.

Individuals may obviously access our products in our retail stores where there has NEVER been any restricted access nor service charges seeing that ISPC Supermarket Fresh are retail stores opened to everyone.

ISPC Seychelles will as from now make sure that FTC’s legal requirements of describing in details the service charges will be followed by all businesses charging service charges. If others don’t have to comply and describe in details their service charges, FTC will be unfair in its conduct forcing only ISPC Seychelles to comply and leave others to continue to not describe the service charges.

 

AA Fourcroy

CEO/Partner

ISPC (Seychelles) Ltd / DIY Ltd /RSS Ltd/La Plage Restaurant and boat

P.O. Box 410, SIBA, Mahé, Seychelles

 

 

 

 

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