PriceSmart International Stores launched in Fleetwood

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    Ray Hudson

    Surrey: A new shift in grocery marketing has been unveiled in Fleetwood with the launch of the flagship of the PriceSmart International Stores, by the Overwaitea Food Group of companies.

    On hand for the launch was company President, Darrell Jones, who noted that the launch was occurring on the 364th day of the ninety-ninth year of the company’s business. Jones said that they were proud to be a BC company “rooted in the communities we serve.”

    Following the ribbon cutting, he spoke with reporter Ray Hudson, and was asked if the ‘International’ brand was going to be instituted across all of the PriceSmart and Save-On stores.

    “You won’t see it in all of the Save-On Foods, but there are communities where the International Store makes complete sense,” said Jones. “Where you have the right mix of ethnicity you will see more PriceSmart International Stores. As the communities change you will see Save-On stores become International Stores, or to offering products more specific to the ethnicity of that neighbourhood, such as the Scottsdale store at 70th and Scott Road. That’s more of a south Asian demographic and we are largely focused on that particular customer of that demographic. To be successful in business today you must really understand your community. You need to have stores that better reflect the community that you serve, and you’d better give back to the communities that you’re in. The key things important to us are, understand you customers, give them what they want and then take care of them.

    Jones said they’d been working on the International concept for ten or eleven years, starting with the East meets West store in Richmond.
    “That’s really Asian and North American,” Jones said. “For a community such as we have here in Fleetwood, you need to be South Asian or you have to have a European background because fifty to sixty percent of the people here are from those backgrounds. And along with those food products, you’ll see products for Vietnamese, Hispanic and Filipino people in this store.”

    “We think it’s an interesting concept,” Jones added. The only stores I’ve been in, that are anything like this in Canada, are back east. But even there, they don’t offer the full grocery mix that we have here.”

    The Fleetwood store is highly and very colourful decorated. The signage generates a sense of excitement upon entry, and makes locating departments and food items very easy, including a wide selection of grab-and-go food options with their in-store kitchen featuring a soup bar, hot wing bar, pizza oven, sushi bar, Jones Soda fountain and coffee bar.

    “We want to make sure that we are catering to every type of customer, so if we can make dinner or lunch a little bit easier, we cant wait to wow you with what’s in store,” said the very proud Store Manager, Ken Christensen.

    The newly branded store is located at Fraser Highway and 152nd Street was opened March 7.