Today’s Editorial December 20: Competition drives down prices

We’ve all complained loud and long about the high cost of living in the Cayman Islands.

We’ve implored Government to step in and do something about.

Well, now something is being done about it on the retail level.

The opening of Cost-U-Less has forced at least one other supermarket to take a hard look at its pricing scheme to see where it can charge less for the goods it sells.

Basically, the new player in the retail arena is proving to be worthy competition, which is good for the consumer.

Competition drives down prices.

We’re seeing that happen.

Foster’s Food Fare’s decision to play hard ball with the new boys will be a boon to all who shop their five stores.

Other retailers who find themselves competing with Cost-U-Less could take a lesson from the Foster family.

Now they will be competing with two retailers, not just the new kids on the block.

Competition also gives businesses an incentive for self improvement.

If the retailers that are in direct competition with Cost-U-Less and Foster’s decide to buy their heads in the sand and ignore what’s happening on the shelves of those stores they are setting themselves up for failure.

Many retailers felt the punch of Cost-U-Less last weekend when shoppers abandoned their stores to try out the new offering.

Yes, the novelty of Cost-U-Less will soon wear off and it will become just another retailer.

But if it consistently keeps prices lower than other retailers, consumers will continue to flock to its doors.

We don’t think other retailers should copy the strategy and practices of Cost-U-Less, but we do believe they should compete.

We’ve seen business competition work in other areas in the Cayman Islands.

Take a look at Cable and Wireless and Digicel. Before Digicel came on the scene C&W held a monopoly in the telecommunications industry in the Cayman Islands.

Because of the competition in that industry we have seen more goods and services offered in telecommunications and competitive pricing to the benefit of consumers.

Any competition that drives down prices, therefore the cost of living in the Cayman Islands is welcome.