HAVANA, Nov 17. Tiendas Caribe signed a contract with the Italian company Italsav for the creation of a shopping center in Havana that will provide online service for purchases generated from abroad.It will be called Variedades Galiano Casalinda and will be a commercial emporium planned to begin activities in early 2024 in a commercial artery that was one of the busiest in Havana, but is currently moribund.
Cubadebate assured that never, in the history of the country’s retail trade, had the government made a contract like this that “reinforces solid 25-year commercial ties between both entities.”
Italsav is the company that supplies Cuba with hygiene products that are sold in points of sale such as the Agua y Bón store chain.
Bartolomeo Sabina Tito, leader of Italsav, expressed gratitude for Cuban cooperation and showed optimism regarding this new venture.
Ana María Ortega, manager of Tiendas Caribe, highlighted the relevance of the agreement in the commemoration of the chain’s thirtieth anniversary.
Variedades Galiano Casalinda will have a product catalog available exclusively for online orders made from outside Cuba. They will include a selection of groceries, footwear, cleaning supplies, appliances and other household goods.
Amilkar Odelin Ante, Marketing and Business Director of Tiendas Caribe said that the shopping center will have prices in convertible currency and will implement advanced electronic payment systems to secure transactions, something the Cuban government often has problems with.
A few weeks ago the island’s government denied that a Costco supermarket exists in Havana. They said that it is “the wholesale store created under the protection of the Cuban-Spanish mixed company Gran Ferretero S.A.” and that sell construction materials.
However, Cubans found food in this shopping center, and lots of products that are usually sold in Costco markets in the United States.
At the beginning of 2023, starting in April, the first business projects with foreign firms in wholesale and retail trade would begin to emerge, but the results have not yet been noticed at the table of the people, who suffer from deficiencies and are increasingly cornered in extreme poverty.