by Tricia Simon
In these covideous times we need to flow with the times as Grand Anse Beach water flows with the tide!
In a recent study regarding the digitisation of retail and e-commerce it was said that, “a brand (tenant) only keep 20 or 30 stores across the country and they are moving most of their business online… the physical stores are just the closet to showcase their products.” “… they will use that space to really showcase their brand. They will give some sales there, but they will do sales online etc.” This speaks to the steady march towards digitisation and e-commerce in the retail sector and economic activity as a whole.
Several months ago, a friend and I discussed the digitisation of the sale of our local goods in Grenada. She is very forward-thinking and progressive and I applaud her for that – I have learnt quite a lot from her. So, we say to set up one website, call it “Shop Grenada.”
It would work like this, several agencies, possibly GIDC and the Office of the Diaspora with the Ministry of Trade can provide all the workings for this. Shop Grenada would be the main website where all other local businesses would be provided with a platform to showcase their offerings in various categories. The relevant agencies would provide assistance to build and host the website, e-commerce platform, marketing, packaging, export etc. Ah cyan wait for dis to happen so we here in Grenada can share all our bountiful harvest with the rest of the world and also create local employment for our youth. Our youths are the ones who are at the forefront of the digitisation of trade. Young farmers such as Bevon Chadel Charles of Akata Farms operate on a digital platform to sell her agricultural produce to the local and global market.
Individuals in the diaspora as well as here in Grenada yearn to go local and purchase our locally produced items. But a key stumbling block is easy access to those items. Trade is a vital aspect of our economy as it helps to generate much-needed foreign exchange for our coffers. So, we each need to do our part to facilitate the easy export of our goods and services generated here in Grenada. We have enough cocoa and nutmeg to sell after it is processed into finished goods.
A key aspect of local trade would be transportation, and since dem bus men have to wuk on rotation with reduced incomes this increased internal trade would help to generate income. Allu know ah doh know how to drive, so since in Toronto, ah have meh transportation all sorted out. Here, ah have ah bus driver fren – row. This is meh system – wen ah need something in town, ah call, ask him to buy it, he or he conductor buy it an ah pay dem. So, ah get meh corn fish from Brisan sent down on one bus, dropped to the terminal, den Row bus bring it for meh. Dem bus man, need to get organised and start to work wid supermarkets and retailers to transport goods as it is extra income – innovate! Meh fren say ah in de bush hiding from Covid-19, he rite ah hiding – ah rarely go to town and why, when I can get things done. Due to Covid-19 a significant number of individuals shop online as it helps to decrease movement and so decrease the spread of Covid-19. So if we look at societies, it appears as though the majority of individuals shop for groceries on a Friday and Saturday. If one is able to shop online with delivery, this would have a significant impact on the spread of Covid-19 – to decrease the numbers. And allu, ah fraid Covid-19 like ah cyat fraid water, ah stay in meh yard mos ah duh time.
Tricia Simon is an Attorney-at-Law called to the bar in the State of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique and the Province of Ontario, Canada.