Barbados welcomed a new addition to its shopping offerings recently, with the official opening of the Payless Shoe Source at Mall Internationale, Haggatt Hall, St. Michael after a soft opening the week before, to test the local market.

These shoes resemble Payless' icons at the entranceof Mall Internationale at Haggatt Hall, the host claimed they were comfy but if I was a paid emcee I'd say they were comfy regardless too if I am looking for more hosting jobs from Payless, LOL!

In his address, Minister of Commerce and Trade, Senator Haynesley Benn, observed that Payless’ focus on high quality and low prices, while offering the best deal to consumers aligned with Government’s objective to address the cost of living. He commended the company “for having the foresight and faith in Barbados to embark on this important venture in these trying times”.

APOCRYPHAL: Bizzy to Benn; "The last time I see a fellow operate a service cheaper than his competitors, he was squeezed out - by your own people too!" Benn to Bizzy; "Man you got FLIGHTS of fancy, all God's children have shoes, and the DEM's making sure of it but letting someone else FOOT the bill!"

  • {EDITOR’S NOTE – How on God’s green Earth are cheap shoes relevant to the cost of living? So you can walk better when the car runs out of costly Bajan-based petrol even as global crude prices drop? Or run from being robbed in designer sneakers bought at inexpensive rates, more money for the felon to take from you? This makes as much sense when a trade unionist claims he is not racist by referring to an employer as an “Egyptian Jew” – what does the nationality or religion of an owner have to do with standardised hiring practices of the jewellery industry which is driven on sales & performance? The so-called unionist needs to offer any honorifics for either the Governor General of Barbados (Oh yes, for how long is he Acting? Man deserves an Oscar, maybe someone else agitating was hoping to be appointed in the coveted spot?) or England to determine if rescinding such privileges are necessary in this case, failing which? Alert overseas organisation such as the ILO…}

Exec. VP of Retail Operations, Steve Gish presented a donation to Dr Elizabeth Ferdinand, who accepted on behalf of the Breast Screening Programme, but I think there needs to be a Photo Drill before the Presentation is actually made so those receiving know what to do or how to pose beforehand...

Senator Benn pointed out that, to overcome challenges, businesses needed to be innovative and “new enterprises [must] be encouraged to establish businesses here in Barbados…We must view Payless as offering the consumer another option in the purchasing of footwear and related products, thereby enhancing competition in that section of the market.”

Sen. Haynesley Benn cutting the ribbon, when he should really be cutting prices on the Basket of Goods promised in late 2010; what about VAT? the 17.5% is due for review from the original 15% rate of Value Added Tax, shouldn't the Senator recommend that be cut too?

Catering to the wider community was also addressed during the ceremony, when Executive Vice President, Steve Gish presented donations to Variety The Children’s Charity and the Barbados Cancer Society. Mr. Gish, who thanked the government for welcoming the company into the market, revealed that Payless was dedicated to being a responsible corporate partner and gave the assurance that the investment was a long-term commitment.

Women at the Grand Opening of a Shoe Store? I had to let the furore die down from 30 mins. or so, then try and maneuver about for a snap - this is what happened even 45 mins. later...

He added that the Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kids programme, which the company had established in the U.S., Canada and Latin America, would be brought to Barbados in the future. Mr. Gish also disclosed that scouting for additional store locations had begun, with six additional branches to be established over the next two years. (MAJORITY OF DATA COURTESY – NH/BGIS)

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