While the clear majority of businesses have put the public of Barbados on notice of pending price increases following the announcement of Budget 2017, Courts Barbados, or Unicomer as it is officially known, has taken the high road and has announced to its customers that it will continue to offer them the best market prices. This means that there will be no immediate price increases at Courts.
The press release is a bold statement from Courts, given that its business depends on imports and this is one the areas hardest hit in the Budget. However, it is good from a public relations standpoint to see that Courts is being authentic and keeping its prices attainable for the vast majority of persons it serves, the lower socio-economic class. Even our middle-class in most cases could not afford household essentials without a program like Courts’ hire purchase and every-day low prices.
Timing is everything. And Courts’ timing is perfect given the doom and gloom being cast across the country. Its press release shines like a beacon at the end of a deep dark tunnel. What several managers fail to factor into their decision-making process is the fact that, although the government is the one imposing the taxes, it is the company that will lose the customer and the customer’s trust and loyalty.
One of the questions customers are asking is why must prices be raised on Day 1 of the tax increase, what about all the stock in warehouses that were purchased before the taxes came into effect? Is there no such thing as corporate social responsibility where you work with your community to get through difficult times while still making a profit? In the old Bajan parlance, “you don’t have to ‘juk-out’ the customer’s eye.”
Several companies make bold statements about their products and services but do not live up to their brand promise. Courts Barbados’ slogan is bringing value home, but I think they are also adopting another of Courts’ worldwide slogans of “Living easy with Courts.” It’s inspiring to see, that amid all the price hikes, at least one company is staying true to its brand promise.
(Courts is not a PRMR Inc. customer, and this blog is not intended as an endorsement of Court’s products.)