The Fiji Times »Retailer Prepares to Go Online

Value City has started the preparatory work for its online shopping platform as the company has received daily inquiries from customers wanting to purchase affordable clothing.

This was initiated when Suva went into lockdown, which resulted in the closure of its warehouses, head office and all branches in the containment zone.

General Manager Vera Chute said there was a large volume of product and a lot of work involved with selection, pricing, photography and categorization.

“It is unfortunate that we were not given permission to reopen our business in Lami Corridor in Nausori as we have been classified as a non-core business,” she said.

“For this reason, we are no longer able to access our warehouse for stocks. In addition, due to this factor, our online sales launch is temporarily suspended.

“We receive inquiries and online sales inquiries every day from our customers, especially from mothers who want to buy warm clothes for their families and from mothers-to-be who need affordable baby clothes. “

Ms Chute said it would be viable as customer demand was there and they would continually strive to improve their services.

“The second wave of the pandemic saw the six-week closure of our Nadi branch, our branch and our Lautoka warehouse. These reopened last week on Wednesday, ”she said.

Six branches, two warehouses and the head office were still closed as the Lami-Nausori corridor entered the sixth week of containment.

“Having only seven of our 15 branches operational has had a huge impact on the business as we still have overheads, operating costs, import / freight duties, et cetera to pay.

“Management is in constant contact with the 101 staff members who are in the containment zone. Their well-being is our priority. We have deployed help to them in a number of ways. They also accessed FNPF payment and government assistance programs, ”she said.

The company had paid annual leave to employees who requested it and offered interest-free loans that would be repaid once everyone returned to full pay.

“We will not lay off any staff. Instead, we have collectively agreed that we will all be working reduced hours. That way everyone can work and have something to take home on payday, ”said Ms. Chute.

Meanwhile, Value City took advantage of this time to complete mandatory virtual training for its staff on Standard Operating Procedures for a Safe Workplace for COVID-19.

“This ensures that every staff member is aware of all protocols, requirements to make all Value City workplaces COVID safe and, therefore, ready to work in the new standard. “

Ms Chute said the company placed orders overseas three months in advance.

“This has now caused overcrowding in our warehouses.

“We have sufficient stocks in the field and now all we need is the reopening of our main branches. “

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