Thursday, April 18, 2024

Flexing for customers

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As companies across the globe continue under difficult economic conditions, one of Barbados’ leading furniture and appliance retailers is using this period for innovation and introspection.
Trisha Tannis, managing director of Unicomer (Barbados) Ltd, trading as Courts Barbados Ltd, told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY the recession has negatively affected turnover.
“However, we have used this period to innovate and to expand our thinking not only in terms of product offering but also as it relates to appreciating the impact of the recession on consumer spending patterns and the psychological imprint that the recession will leave on the consumer after it has lifted,” she said.
Tannis, who is Unicomer’s first female managing director, said this type of introspection had already proven rather successful since “it has driven the company towards a level of creative thinking and consumer interaction that has been extremely well received in the midst of the downturn”.
“We are therefore very optimistic about the prospects for the post-recession future as the economy slowly climbs out of the downturn,” she said.
Tannis added that Courts has increased the flexibility of its credit facilities over the past few years since it was not in the company’s interest “to place consumers under any form of economic hardship”.
She noted that although there has not been a notable increase in “genuine delinquency”, there has been a significant increase in the number people with shorter work hours.  
“This category of consumer has therefore taken a reduction in income but still unfortunately has to service the same level of debt as previously.
“In these cases we have entered into arrangements with the consumers to refinance or renegotiate the terms of their financing as long as the current circumstance prevails,” she said.

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