Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
RETAIL chain Broadway Spar yesterday opened a new branch in Bulawayo after investing in excess of $100 000 into the project creating about 60 jobs.
The supermarket, which is called Broadway Main Spar, is situated along Fife Street between 5th and 6th Avenues in the city centre. The retail firm has also relocated its operations from Joshua Nkomo Street and 6th Avenue to the new offices.
Bulawayo Mayor Councillor Martin Moyo and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Mr Danford Mutashu were among the delegates who witnessed the opening of the new branch.
“The opening of this new Broadway Main Spar here today is indeed a milestone achievement not only for Broadway Spar but for the retail sector at large,” said Mr Mutashu in his key note address.
“It is imperative for the retail sector as a business to remain transparent. Let’s not play the cat and mouse game with authorities.”
He said some retailers, for example, were using a “three-tier pricing system” that has been strongly condemned by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. The apex bank has stressed that retailers using a multi-tier pricing system for different payment systems were violating the Bank Use Promotion Act and risk the full wrath of the law.
Of late, the three-tier pricing practice — US dollar notes, bond notes and use of electronic platforms, has become rampant following an increase in the amount of bond notes in circulation amid a growing shortage of the greenback.
Mr Mutashu said his organisation represented the interests of organised retail business so that revenue to the fiscus was expanded.
“Non-compliance by some retail business is also exerting pressure on the fiscus. Smuggled goods have also led to unregulated businesses depriving the growth of the local manufacturing sector. By year-end we should be speaking about 65 percent capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector but the performance of the manufacturing sector is also determined by the performance of the retail sector,” he said.
Cllr Moyo commended Broadway Spar proprietors for opening a fully refurbished second branch in the city saying such a gesture would also inspire potential investors.
“I would like to commend Broadway Spar proprietors for opening their new branch that is fully refurbished. Modernising buildings in Bulawayo will lure would-be investors to the city.
“If there is gloom and despondency in the city, no one wants to be associated with it for fear they will suffer the same fate,” he said.
Broadway Spar proprietor Mr Vupenyu Hove said apart from their new kid on the block, they intend to expand their operations in and outside the city going forward.
“In future we want to open more branches. We spent in excess of $100 000 on refurbishing and buying equipment for this new Broadway Main Spar.
“This branch becomes our second after Broadway Spar situated at corner Fife Street and 12th Avenue in the city centre,” he said.