By Elesha George
The grocery store that will replace the popular Bargain Centre Supermarket branch in Perry Bay is scheduled to open in November and is expected to offer competitive pricing and an upper class look.
Although the building is still owned by the Bargain Centre owner Stephen Joseph and three other directors, the operator of Perry Bay Supermarket wants residents to feel proud of their community with the improvements they intend to implement.
After more than a year of whispers and murmurs of what will become of the popular branch, in just two months the Gray’s Green community will have a new supermarket that caters specifically for their pockets.
A month ago, the popular supermarket branch was closed, giving way for about 50 locals including a handful of contractors to prepare the Perry Bay Supermarket to receive a growth in customers.
The renovation work is extensive and includes electrical work, laying of tiles, adding air conditioning units and fixing health and structural deficiencies within the building. There are also plans to include a brand new pharmacy.
When Observer toured the building, light fixtures, hanging wires, open AC vents and uprooted tiles could not take away from the significant work that had already been put into retrofitting the building.
While an “under construction” sign may represent the exterior of the building, the interior models some of the preferred supermarkets on island.
It will be equally fitted with a qualified and vivacious staff complement, who will be hand-picked based on their qualifications and work etiquette.
That, however, does not solve the problem for the workers who were laid off when the Bargain Centre brand closed.
At least three of those employees sought union representation with the Antigua & Barbuda Free Trade Union in July.
At that time, the trio was hoping to determine the status of their employment with the company when they were unable to contact the owner, Joseph, who is said to owe the employees severance, outstanding wages and vacation pay.