MINSK, 8 October (BelTA) - The product and service range in agro-towns should not differ from that available in the capital city, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he took part in the general meeting of the Belarusian National Union of Consumer Societies Belkoopsoyuz in Minsk on 8 October, BelTA has learned.
The head of state urged consumer cooperation outlets to apply the "quality above all" approach in their work.
"If you do not increase the level of service, renovate shops and cafes, you will not survive. The current level of quality in trade is very high. In recent years, Belarusians have become accustomed, in fact, to the European quality of service. If we want to maintain a decent level in small settlements, agro-towns, then we should make sure that the product range and service should not differ from that in the capital city," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
In this regard, he urged to listen to the reviews of ordinary people who say that Belkoopsoyuz fails to keep up pace with times. "Moral and physical deterioration of many retail facilities, poor use of space, weak assimilation of new technologies... Of course, there are good examples. But have they become commonplace? That's the issue," the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko lauded an exhibition with products of consumer cooperation organizations that was launched especially for the event in the Palace of the Republic. "You know how to do everything. Some things would seem impossible. So why don't you replicate such practices everywhere? I always have such feelings when I attend exhibitions," he said.
The head of state stated that Belkoopsoyuz's trade and public catering indicators are below the average national level. The predominance of food products in the structure of retail trade also remains a problem.
Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled that earlier he instructed to increase the share of non-food goods. "This instruction has not been fulfilled. Their share hovers around 10-12%. I want the new head of Belkoopsoyuz to study the reasons for this state of affairs. We need to reverse this negative trend. You need to attract buyers with a wider product range and competitive prices," the head of state said.
He noted that 90% of products on sale in Belkoopsoyuz are Belarusian-made. In this regard, Aleksandr Lukashenko suggested Belkoopsoyuz pool efforts with domestic producers and organize promos and discounted sales. "Along the lines with annual seasonal fairs in September-October. We have recently revived this tradition and people have embraced it. If you need help with this, we will encourage your partners," Alexander Lukashenko gave an example.
According to him, no less pressing is the task of improving the quality of service. Belkoopsoyuz is gradually losing its positions in the domestic consumer market. "In retail your share has almost halved (from 7% to 3.9%) over the past five years (from 2016 to 2020). This negative trend persists this year as well," the president said.