Cuba opens initial bulk products store

Shoppers travel by a aisles of a new bulk products store Zona+ in Havana on Monday. (AP photo)

HAVANA: Cuba has sensitively non-stop a first-of-its-kind store specialising in bulk products in Havana: Zona+, a high-ceiling space with racks built with vast tins of tomato sauce, toilet paper and cooking oil by a gallon.

It’s not utterly Costco, and it falls brief of gratifying longstanding calls for a indiscriminate marketplace to support a flourishing category of small-restaurant and-cafeteria owners who have set adult emporium underneath President Raul Castro’s mercantile reforms begun 6 years ago.

But it could assistance soothe a vigour that those entrepreneurs have been putting on other sell stores by gnawing adult outrageous quantities of goods, withdrawal unchanging business in a lurch.

On a new afternoon, Naidi Carrazana pushed a selling transport installed with cases of beer, bottled H2O and soothing drinks she needs to batch her tiny cafeteria nearby.

She concurred that business owners like her who make large purchases have been emptying marketplace shelves of things like flour, duck and tomato paste, and pronounced a new store can assistance with that.

“A place like this allows we to buy in bulk, and that’s a advantage for us and a advantage for a people,” Carrazana said.

Located in a upscale western suburb of Miramar, Zona+ launched a small over a week ago with 0 fanfare.

Manager Javier Munoz pronounced shoppers are certified to buy total quantities, though he declined to criticism serve since he was not certified to do so by a store’s state-run primogenitor company.

Employees pronounced business has been good notwithstanding a miss of publicity, as word of a opening widespread mouth-to-mouth. One patron showed adult in a automobile and bought 50 3-kilogram (6.6-pound) cans of tomatoes to supply a restaurant.

“Similar stores are being designed for other tools of a city,” they added.

In Cuba, supervision entities are a usually ones means to import and acquire products during wholesale, and indiscriminate entrance has been a essential direct of a 500,000 or so small-business owners and their employees, many of them operative in a food-service sector.

The supervision has betrothed to set adult indiscriminate markets for private entrepreneurs, though that has nonetheless to materialize and their usually choice has been a same sell stores where a ubiquitous race shops.

Although products during Zona+ are bulk, that doesn’t entail a cost break. For example, a kilogram of high-end Serrano coffee costs $14.05 there, while a same kilo was $14 on a same day during a unchanging store elsewhere in Havana.

“The place is pretty, a use is good, though it’s still a same cost as retail. In truth, it doesn’t solve the problems,” Carrazana said.

“I wish this is like a seed for a indiscriminate marketplace where we entrepreneurs can buy during a opposite price.”

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