Where are the hundreds of scholarship recipients City Markets placed on their feet?

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Nassau, Bahamas — Every time we walk into our favourite food store chain, we are greeted with the sad look on the shelves and the weak presentations at the counter. City Markets is going through some rough waters these days.

Early this week, the company announced plans to close more stores as leases expire at Lyford Cay and Rosetta Street locations. The humbling experience must leave the few staff members discouraged. What has happened to the store, which believed in FAMILY, COMMUNITY AND COUNTRY?

Bahamas Press continues to inject the fact that we in the Bahamas are people with short memory. Three days could pass , and we still want cuss the Government for the problems at BTC. We fail to remember the company is sold. In the case with City Markets, many of us have forgotten the charitable contributions of the store to the wider community, which has planted millions into the lives of young Bahamians, who could not afford a tertiary education. Since 1968, the company has awarded more than $8 million to over 1,700 recipients.

BP has lived long enough to remember the GOLDEN HEART of one pioneering educator the late Dr. Keva Bethel, who served on the board of Bahamas Supermarkets Ltd. [City Markets] during those charitable years.

The Late Dr. Keva Bethel

Bethel delivered the convincing message that in order to build a country education must become the focus, the backbone if you will, to a developed civil society. She delivered millions from company profits to thousands, countless golden nuggets of educational support to families with aspiring youths. City Markets believes in young people and by its aid opened new doors for many. City Markets did that and Dr. Keva Bethel made certain it was done.

Today the struggling food chain closed down all of its deli operations as a cost cutting exercise. No more tuna and grits, or rotisserie crisp could be found available for a bite. No breakfast, no lunch, no brunch. Someone is hurting.

The unfolding events tell the story of a woman who fought for the survival of her children night and day. She went to battle for them and gave them a solid education. However, today she has become weak and needs help, yet the children are all grownup, and refuse to look back. Sounds familiar? Sad isn’t it.

The picture has forced us at BP to put the question to the hundreds of scholarship recipients of Bahamas Supermarkets Ltd. [City Markets]; Who will help the struggling food chain now? Will you?

17 COMMENTS

  1. Many of those persons that recieved scholarships from the old city market has came back to be employed part-time with them and some are still working with them.I know many lawyers,nurses,teachers and even doctors that worked in the food store part time, so yes they gave back , but ask what happened to them once the new owners took over they were treated like dogs and fired. City markets new owners are now facing labour charges because they are firing people because they have a second job, and these are people who show up to work every day and have been doing this for years. The public is on the outside looking in, this company has been abused by past and present owners and now the loyal employees who have been there some for 40plus years is going to suffer.

    • Man listen they right up in them other stores shopping up a breeze. One told us, City Markets too expensive!

      BP

  2. BP, I must commend you on your very creative spin-doctoring. You have proved that no matter how negative a story is to one party, it can always be “spun” to show that party in a more favorable light or otherwise deflect the cause of the negativity onto others. This is the case with this story. Instead of reporting on the major reasons of the struggles of City Market previously and now worsened under its new owners, BP has decided to put the blame solely at the feet of those scholarship recipients over the years (given by the previous, not current owners). City Markets made giving scholarships their way of giving back to the community which they made millions upon millions from over the years. They publicized it and they gained loyal customers who rewarded them for their civic mindedness and high quality shopping experience, by shopping with them. We know that in recent years, with competition and the inability of City Markets to respond quickly enough, they have been loosing those customers over time as the quality declined. In comes Trans Island Traders and they took over a sinking ship and have not been able to stop the sinking. The viability of the “new” City Market will not be dependent on the patronage of scholarship recipients, good management will.

  3. City Markets giving scholarships was an act of charity. The students shouldn’t feel guilty for receiving scholarships. Besides what can the students do to help? Simply put the current management of City Markets is doing a poor job. They should have rejuvenated that business when they walked in the door. The shelves are always empty and they are simply not meeting the demands of the consumer. Robin Hood, Phil’s and Super Value are all kicking their butts. Everyone who has any business experience will tell you that the grocery business is not an easy one. Your supply line has to be solid and the in store deals have to be better than the competition. To add insult to injury, the current management does not have the experience or track record in the grocery business. Its a tough business and unless you are savvy at resurrecting dying companies its a no no. They knew it was dying and still they invested in it. Very strange but it seems like the Finlayson’s like to invest in dying companies. Solomon’s Mines was going down when they bought it. It appears they have no fresh ideas of their own. They latch on to old ideas and businesses with poor extrapolation for future revenue streams. I am happy for them as a Bahamian family, but its like these guys continue to step into quick sand and expect results. Well I wish them the best.

  4. BP,

    I agree with you. But perhaps the better question would be: “Where are the thousands of Student Loan Programme recipients who have never paid and those would simply ripped off a corrupt system?”

    Many are current civil servants. Why doesn’t the government go after these deadbeats and thieves who ruined it for all our children?

  5. Mari, you are so out of line. What does the SENATOR’S LEGAL WORK HAS TO DO WITH THE OPERATIONS? Please; please don’t try your foolish campaigning here, not on this subject. And by the way I don’t even know who this Deveaux fellow of girl is but whoever he/she is will get slaughtered by SENATOR JEROME FITZGERALD in the upcoming general elections; I suppose that is what you were referring (out of context) to weren’t you?

  6. @ Maria: The old city Markets was no more the minute Jerome Fritzgerald got his hands on it.

    The man is financial cancer, every thing he touches dies a slow death. If you brought shares in RND Cinemas and wondered what happened to BK water company, then you would know who he is!!

    Let a real business person buy City Markets and you will see a turn around in it’s finances.

  7. Say where are the scholarship recipients??? LOL. You crying about this now only because a big-time PLP own CM now.Anyways, people only checking for themselves and how they will gain, just like am sure the owners of this website have some personal gain in the PLP winning the election, so its a pro-PLP site, and to be fair the same thing probably could be said with regards to the Trib and the FNM. People ain’t checking about who give them no scholarship if they believe they can get a deal and save money by shopping at Phil’s, Robin Hood or the Chinese thats where they going.I know nurses whom the govt or taxpayers of the Bahamas financed their education at COB, and as soon as they can they start looking for ways to go to the US to work, to make more money, they ain’t checking that it was the people of the Bahamas who gave them the opportunity to get an education so perhaps they should stay and forgo the higher pay to make a contribution at home. Bottom line is most Bahamians only looking out for themselves their wallet and their family, anything or anybody else is a distant second the sooner everyone admits that and stop fronting things could be better. All that being said, it was a bone-headed move by the Finyalsons to purchase CM in the first place especially considering their not too stellar record in business in recent times.

  8. I agree with BP that we Bahamians have short memories. However, the City Market that gave to our Community through scholarships cease to exist. The City Market of today is now Bahamian owned and their suffering may be a result of a bad acquisition deal in hard ecoomic ties coupled with poor management.

    Therefore, even if former Scholarship recipients had returned to say thank you in some form or another, the thanks would have been due the former Company and not the City arket we know today.

  9. Working for Uncle Sam!!! BP, I too was one of those thousands who applied and was denied but I know an individual who got a City Market Scholarship to study at COB and then went on to study at FSU. This person married an American citizen and now lives in the US. The fact is I didn’t let that deter me but went on to finance myself through to an MBA, livin here and making a contribution to society. Not sure if this person will ever looked back.

  10. I love the analogy you use comparing City Market to a Mother who has educated her children and they have not return to even say THANK YOU!! I wonder if City Market had invested that 8 million years ago what would have been their return on investment and would they be as financially challenge as they are today? It would be good if we remember those who help us along the way and express THANK YOU not just in word but in DEED!! Gratitude seems to be something that we think about doing but never do. It’s like when you call someone after sending them flowers they say “I was just going to call to say thanks for the flowers” and you say Yeah then you remember but that was a week ago when you send the flowers!!!

    • Ya know Enter I remember how I was one of the thousands who applied one time, Didn’t meet the require standards, but I remembered 10 people were selected that year. I got a letter, a personalized letter informing me to try again. THEY HELPED many, and I ga tell ya now, if they gat sugar and no cream, I ga pick up the sugar from City Market and then go look for the cream elsewhere.

      Where are the parents of those receiving the company scholarships? Where are the recipients where are the families?

      BP

        • For the money and the individuals that store gave back to, they should not be struggling now! NO WAY!

          BP

          • This in not the company which provided the scholarships……as a matter of fact..this company looks nothing like it!

            Where is Jerome Fitzgeral who provide the legal advise? he got the cream off the top and now the company is going down.

            If he can do this to people who are his friends judge what he’d do to the strangers in Marathon.

            Deveaux is the man for Marathon….even with all the warts you all putting on him….trust me the residents know what he has done for them.

      • I agree with you BP, I do the same. I was one of the scholarship recipients a couple years ago and I always go there for grocery. I go there first.

        However, its not a surprise that some may not look back. Remember the parable of the 10 lepers? Only 1 came back.

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