RETAILER CLOSES DOORS IN FIJI’S OLD LEVUKA

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Courts Homecentres had operated there since 1980s

SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, March 2, 2008) – One of Fiji’s largest retail outlets, Courts Homecentres, has closed its store in the old capital town of Levuka on the island of Ovalau.

The closure has been said to be untimely just when the company’s sales figures began to show signs of improvement, attributed to the number of recent power connections in a few villages on the island.

Fijilive has established the closure was due to the need for Courts Homecentres to find another location and a new building to house its store.

Reliable sources said the building which Courts Homecentres currently rented is badly run down.

Engineers who conducted a survey of the current building advised the management of the situation saying repair works would prove too costly with suggestions for a totally new building.

Sources also told Fijilive that there would be no job losses – of the four employees, two will be transferred to Suva and the other two will operate from a store in Levuka handling customer payments and orders.

In a paid advertisement, Courts (Fiji) Limited executive director James Datta confirmed the closure effective Saturday March 1, 2008.

"This has been a difficult decision to make especially since Courts Homecentres (and its predecessors) have been in Levuka since the 1980s," Datta said.

"In light of the closure, we have appointed Gulabdas & Sons to be our agent in Levuka. Effective March 3 (2008), all our credit customers may make their normal payments at this store, located immediately adjacent to our current premises," he said.

Attempts are being made to obtain further comments from Datta.

Sources said the company would continue to operate normally.

"Our customers will continue to make their payments from where we will be operating from until our company finds a new building. Customers who want to purchase an item will have to view the commodity on our computer and then we will make necessary arrangements for the product to be shipped from Suva," the source said.

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