مشاركات عشوائية

The magic of lower prices at Fresh - The Royal Gazette

featured image

Created: 19 Dec. 2022 07:46

Incredible deals: Fresh employees, left to right, Asia-Lee Stevens, Lianne McKeown and Kim Caisey showcase some of the Christmas items available at Fresh on Queen Street (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

Three months ago, Sharrieff Wales opened Fresh Ltd at 28 Queen Street, selling everything from knives and body soap to floor cleaners and plates, all for $2 to $6.

The store’s motto is ‘Fresh where low prices are the law…’.

Mr Wales was greeted with a certain amount of wonder and disbelief. “It’s magic,” jokes Mr Wales when people ask him how he does it.

Their approach is to find the right small third-party vendors. “You can find amazing deals,” he said.

Some of its body washes sell for $9 less than the same product at a larger, more established local store.

“We have a product called Triple Butter Body Wash,” he said. “We actually sell it for less at this store than at Walmart, and it’s a Walmart brand.”

And yes, it is viable and profitable.

“We’re getting what we need to pay our rent, keep the lights on, pay our staff and make a few more bucks, so we’re happy,” he said. “I don’t want to divulge what I would consider our trade secrets.”

Some customers came up to him and said, “I knew they were overcharging us all these years!”

But Mr Wales insists other shops are not overcharging,

In fact, he ran three Champ’s Variety convenience stores that follow a more traditional business model and pricing system.

He keeps everything at his minimum margin rate.

“I’m just trying to give Bermudians the break they desperately need,” he said.

Some people have wondered why he sells his fresh produce so cheaply, when he can sell it for more and still beat department store prices.

“Why would anyone come to me, then?” he said. Everyone has their place where they like to shop. Why would they come? They would end up spending their savings on gasoline for their car.

But he thought people would make the trip if the savings were worth it.

“Savings on select products can be as high as $9,” he said. “While for other products, the savings are 50 cents or 75 cents. It’s like that.”

Its top-selling products are lotions and soaps. It sells Dove shower gel for $6, for example, compared to $12 or more elsewhere.

But the business is not without its challenges. He’s been fighting brand bias since the opening.

“We have a Canadian product called Vim,” he said. “I just had an emergency in Canada for five weeks, and Vim was everywhere. Vim makes things like bathroom cleaners and dishwashing liquid. It works great.

But he saw a pronounced disinterest in Vim in Bermuda.

“It stayed on the shelf,” he said. “It’s a lot cheaper than those other branded products, but since not many people here know about the brand, nobody buys it. We probably won’t bring it back.

He insists he’s not on a mission to teach people about brands. He doesn’t have time for that. He also had difficulty getting shipments to Bermuda through the United States.

It has a container stuck in Canada for five weeks, while some of the smaller no-name brands it brings seek Food & Drug Administration approval.

“A lot of big brands already have FDA approval, but some of the smaller no-name brands don’t.”

Mr Wales has done social media marketing to promote Fresh, but relies heavily on word of mouth to raise awareness.

“I know there are still a lot of people who don’t know us,” he said. But once word gets out, the business will slowly grow. I never did any marketing for Champs.

It currently runs between the four companies, but hopes it will decrease as Fresh becomes more established.

“In my head, an entrepreneur starts something and makes it not have to be there,” Mr Wales said. An entrepreneur hires the right people to run the business and then moves on. I learn this process.

Instagram: @freshltdbda

Post a Comment

0 Comments