PENNYWISE Cosmetics has continued to strive in tough economic times as affordable prices, quality products, a strong family support system and dedicated workers saw the popular cosmetics chain opened its ninth outlet on Monday.
The new store is located at Long Circular Mall, St James and is the fifth outlet that includes a pharmacy.
The Long Circular branch is the second location in Port of Spain, joining the Charlotte Street outlet. The other outlets in TT are located in Trincity Mall (Trincity), Grand Bazaar (Valsayn), Chaguanas, La Romaine, Gulf City Mall (La Romaine), Arima and Tunapuna. The first Pennywise store opened in 1984.
Managing director and CEO of Pennywise Dalvi Paladee said the long wait is over as he always wanted a store in Long Circular Mall. He said, “This is nothing new for us. We always wanted to be here. For 15 years we waiting for this mall to get space for us.”
Paladee said Pennywise continues to reinvent its operations, which has made it easier to handle the economic downturn in TT.
"We re-energise all the time. We just started bringing goods directly from China to get the goods even cheaper to you (customers)," Paladee said.
He said the pharmacies in some of the outlets have brought in new customers. "We opened the pharmacies, which is a new set of customers. If you look at our pharmacy right now (in Long Circular Mall) you will see people buying, but we only open this morning (Monday) so people were waiting for this service that we are offering. We have the lowest prices of any pharmaceutical products in Trinidad. We buy from all the local distributors and they also give us a discount."
Paladee said it is a possibility that store number 10 may open in the coming years but, "We will make sure we take our time and tread one step at a time."
Paladee said service is important to Pennywise. "We will continue to give the people of TT a service that they come to expect from us. We are always working on it. The people must realise that there is no company on this part of the world, in the Caribbean, that has so many customers coming through their doors...we know service is where we have to target all our resources. We already have the customers aware that we will give the best quality products in the world."
Paladee said the strong family support is important to the success of Pennywise, along with a committed staff.
"We have dedicated workers and how do we get workers to dedicate? We pay all our taxes for all of the 1,100 plus workers we have," Paladee said.
"We pay bonuses. I remember my accountant took time out and came to my office two weeks ago. He said, 'What are you doing? How can you raise people's pay? How can you give bonuses in an economy that seems to be going nowhere?' I said, 'That is the other economy, Pennywise has its own economy. Pennywise is run by God itself.' Our goal is we don't even have a plan, our plan is to follow his (God) plan."