|SuperPlus sets up online shopping
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
|SuperPlus newest of 28 supermakets located at Cross Roads, Kingston.
SuperPlus Food Stores has developed an online shopping facility, that will enable Jamaicans living abroad to purchase items from the supermarket via the Internet, which can then be collected by their relatives and beneficiaries in Jamaica.
The concept, according to Wayne Chen, chief executive officer of SuperPlus, is to provide a form of remittance service without the high fees that those abroad sending cash to Jamaica normally have to pay.
"The high commission remittance model is on its last leg," says Chen, whose enterprise had a soft opening of the online facility last month. "Internet banking is the future," he added.
The online shopping facility www.superplusfoods.com already has over 200 items from which shoppers can select.
With the online facility, a Jamaican living abroad can get onto the SuperPlus website, purchase the items, pay by Mastercard or Visa and direct the goods to the specific supermarket in Jamaica where they are to be collected.
"It's like remittance except in this case, there is no commission, and the sender can be assured that the money is being spent in a way that it is intended," Chen told the Business Observer.
Chen said that several transactions had already been effected via the website, even though there had been minimal promotion.
The main promotion has been done by Western Union, the money remittance company which Chen said saw the website and offered to promote it at its stores in New York, which Jamaicans visit regularly to send money here.
With 28 stores throughout Jamaica -- including Cross Roads, Kingston, which was opened at the end of May -- and current annualised sales of US$120 million, SuperPlus is Jamaica's largest supermarket chain.
The supermarket provides space and facilities for remittance service to Grace, Kennedy & Company, the local representative of Western Union; and to MoneyGram.
Chen said that in the past few weeks, his company had been "feeling out customer tastes and preferences" and that more items would be added to the list from which the online shoppers could select.
The investment, he said, represented "the cheapest branch we have ever set up" and that the next step was to refine the technology to make the shopping and payment process even more customer convenient.
Two other SuperPlus stores will open in Kingston before Christmas -- one on Hope Road in Half-Way-Tree, and the other on Trafalgar Road in New Kingston, opposite the Atrium -- the building that houses NCB's headquarters. This will bring to 30, the number of stores in the outlet.