|AML ‘pushes button’ on new Fresh Market|
Guardian Business Editor
Published: Jun 21, 2012
Solomon's Fresh Market is coming to eastern New Providence – just in time for Christmas.
AML Foods has announced the opening of its second store in the Harbour Bay Shopping Centre, resurrecting the abandoned City Market and potentially revitalizing commerce in the area. The store, offering high-quality food options to Bahamians, will be a reflection of the successful Solomon's Fresh Market at the Old Fort Town Centre.
Not only will the store create up to 85 new jobs, but the expansion of the Solomon's Fresh Market brand could indeed mark a major shift in the food shopping experience across the capital.
"We have secured a lease for the Harbour Bay Shopping Centre," said Gavin Watchorn, CEO of AML Foods.
"We have already pushed the button on it."
The company plans to invest up to $5.5 million into the old City Market, with construction creating dozens of jobs for local contractors. When it's complete, Watchorn said AML Foods plans to hire up to 85 Bahamians, putting a dent in the legions of workers let go after the close of City Market locations.
"We have been very surprised by how well it is doing in the west," he said, referring to the first Solomon's Fresh Market location. "It has exceeded expectations, and we've had huge demand in eastern New Providence for a store. They love the concept and the format. So we have been given the opportunity to do this."
Solomon's Fresh Market in western New Providence, a 38,000 square-foot facility, boats 150 different kinds of organic produce on offer, including a grand total of 400 fresh items to choose from. It also features the only truly fresh fish counter in the capital.
The CEO said this second opening is an essential step to building a strong, long-term platform for the company.
AML Foods, with Solomon's, Solomon's Fresh Market, Domino’s Pizza and Cost Right under its banner, is coming off a 27.5 percent jump in sales for the first quarter. Executives have credited the success of the first Solomon's Fresh Market out west as being a key driver.
The company has managed to add millions in sales without increasing staff and operating costs at the corporate level, and elevated purchasing power and efficiency through synergies.
This latest announcement for the Harbour Bay Shopping Centre follows two other anticipated openings in the coming months.
A "flagship" Carl's Jr franchise, the first in The Bahamas, is scheduled to break ground in October, the company said. It is intended to be the first of several franchises in New Providence. Meanwhile, the opening of a Solomon's in Grand Bahama is just a few weeks away, according to Dionisio D'Aguilar, the chairman of AML Foods.
The new supermarket in Lucaya, also absorbing an old City Market franchise at Eight Mile Rock, has already employed 60 Bahamians in anticipation for a July opening.
AML Foods is targeting at least $125 million in total sales by 2014.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 21 June 2012 15:03|