FIJI SUPERMARKETS UNDERCUT PRODUCE VENDORS

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Shopping convenience takes toll

By Maneesha Karan SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Aug. 18, 2010) – Labasa vendors feel they are losing out on customers because of the sale of vegetables in local supermarkets.

Such is the sentiment of market vendor Maya Devi, 55, who said there was low sales compared to the high supply of vegetables.

"We have lost many customers because people find it easier to buy vegetables while doing their grocery shopping. It saves them time and energy," Ms Devi said. "At the moment we have a high supply of vegetables in the market and if people buy from us they can bargain the price and quantity."

Another vendor, Anwar Shah, said vegetable sellers in the market would lose out on profits if they reduced prices.

"We are selling a bundle of chauraiya at 50 cents each and the supermarkets selling price is between $1 and $1.30 [US$0.52 and US$0.67] for three bundles. We buy a bundle of chauraiya at 30 cents each, and the selling price is 40-50 cents. If we lower the price we won’t make profit," Mr. Shah said.

Meanwhile, the local market is experiencing an increase in supply of vegetables and this could be because of the high number of FSC workers made redundant and retired teachers.

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