The owner of a Chinese-owned supermarket that is located at Public Road at Vigilance on the East Coast of Demerara had evidently took it upon himself to finger paint an English sign of his supermarket’s name and address. But the confusingly written address seems to name the number 50 bus corridor that the supermarket is on, and not its actual address. But as Guyanese, we do have an idea of what he is trying to say. (Guyana Guardian photo)
By Dennis Adonis
GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- Over the past six months alone, more than 50 Chinese-owned supermarkets have been established throughout Guyana, with at least another 40 or so expected to become operational by August 2017.
With a combined average initial contribution of almost half a billion dollars to the economy, at least just over 100 Guyanese were able to gain direct employment with these emerging supermarkets.
But many Guyanese are baffled as to why all of these affluently styled supermarkets are suddenly springing up throughout the many coastal villages of the country.
And if you happen to be one of those wondering, then the answer to this puzzle is quite simple.
With neighbouring Suriname sinking deep into recession, many of that country’s residents have lost their spending power, which has since saw a more than 50% decline in sales and revenues almost across every service sector of the economy.
As a result, many supermarkets in Suriname have been struggling to stay afloat, while having to contend with a sudden increase in robberies and shoplifting that were becoming too rampant for their already struggling businesses to tolerate.
And rather than waiting out a recession that might last for several years, or shifting to more costly nations in South America, many of the Chinese supermarkets owners have found it easier to move across the border to Guyana where the population is in a better position to spend cash than their recession-hit counterparts in Suriname.
This move has since saw an average of eight to ten Chinese-owned supermarkets opening up in Guyana each month.
Just around 40% of their stocked dry goods are locally made, while cosmetics and utensils, etc. are noted to be imported.
Many locals have since welcomed these new supermarkets into their villages, but maintain that they must continue to ensure that jobs and other economic opportunities are being created for residents in the respective communities.
Republished with permission of the Guyana Guardian