Grisha: Big supermarkets should do more for our senior citizens | THE DAILY HERALD

PHILIPSBURG–Member of Parliament (MP)-elect Grisha Heyliger-Marten called out “big” supermarkets on Sunday for being insufficiently customer-friendly.

“Big businesses, especially supermarkets such as Carrefour, Cost U Less and Prime, can generate increased economic activity for themselves, while enhancing their service to customers, especially senior citizens and the physically-challenged,” said Heyliger-Marten.

She said there should be an island-wide effort led by big businesses, especially supermarkets and health service providers, to create incentives for senior citizens.

“Think about the elderly man with a disability that lives in St. Peters or the elderly lady in Dutch Quarter, Sucker Garden or Middle Region, who have to do most things for themselves. What would it cost these supermarkets versus the mutual benefit of offering the added-value service to our senior citizens?

“Having a Seniors Wednesday discount or creating a senior citizens shopping card are simple things that can be done to help ease the burden on our senior citizens and this will increase revenue generation for the businesses.

“Today we see fruits and vegetables being sold at reasonable prices by local foundations, while we lament the constant increase in the cost of goods at the larger supermarkets,” said Heyliger-Marten.

She said more must be done by operators of larger supermarkets who have been around “forever” under one name or another, “yet in 2020 they still do not have a senior citizens programme.

“Economic challenges or not, I refuse to believe there is no benefit to Carrefour and others in providing a shuttle service for the senior citizens of St. Maarten who patronise their establishments.

“Having stores with motorised carts will be a cost, but it also has a benefit for our seniors and the physically-challenged in the establishments that implement their use. These are things that will go a long way to showing appreciation to the people of St. Maarten for their years of support.

“Today many businesses around the world have recognised the limitations of the senior citizens in their countries and have resorted to offering home delivery services to maintain their customer base. Additional incentives and benefits for senior citizens also include special discounts for essential items they use routinely.

“With this customer-friendly approach, businesses have seen marked improvements in their sales, while other companies who refuse to keep up with the changing times have been looked at as elitist companies who would rather not have senior citizens walk through their aisles,” concluded Heyliger-Marten.

Source: The Daily Herald