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2013.12.04 11:06

Maxima: Losing customers in the wake of Zolitude tragedy is “inevitable”

DELFI|The Lithuania Tribune2013.12.04 11:06

Maxima stores will inevitably lose customers in the wake of the Zolitude disaster, Ignas Staškevičius, shareholder in ‘Vilniaus prekyba’ – the owner of the Maxima chain, told a press conference in Riga yesterday, The Baltic Course informs, with reference to LETA/Nozare.lv.

 Maxima stores will inevitably lose customers in the wake of the Zolitude disaster, Ignas Staškevičius, shareholder in ‘Vilniaus prekyba’ – the owner of the Maxima chain, told a press conference in Riga yesterday, The Baltic Course informs, with reference to LETA/Nozare.lv.

Maxima Latvija will lose many of its loyal customers due to the tragedy, said Staškevičius. The Zolitude disaster has also dented the company’s turnover, he said, adding that he could not give any specific figures.

“Customer attitude and decision to boycott Maxima stores is perfectly understandable, this is their legitimate right. Maxima shareholders perceive this as customer opinion and criticism of the company’s operations. Therefore, changes within the company are far more important than a fall in turnover or reduction in clientele,” said Staškevičius.

Asked to comment on working conditions at Maxima, for instance, for Maxima Latvija cashiers, Staškevičius said the company’s shareholders “could be unaware of what it meant to work at a Maxima store”.”

“This is a large organisation; the Maxima group employs more than 40,000 people in total. The shareholders are not always informed about problems in a particular company of the group,” he explained, adding it was possible that Maxima shareholders had not been receiving full information from Maxima Latvija.

There are always many things to be improved, and this is what will be done in order to improve working and safety conditions in all Maxima companies, said Staškevičius. He said he hoped that Maxima Latvija and Maxima Group overall would become better employers than before, as well as better companies, adding that the tragedy in Zolitude was proof of that “something was not right” with the companies.

Staškevičius said some managers’ salaries could be cut in order to increase wages for salespersons, for instance. But the most important at the moment is to improve working conditions and employee and customer safety, in-house conduct, the company’s values, eliminate any kind of arrogance. Staškevičius hopes that in the future, thanks to these changes, the company’s reputation will improve and it will win new shoppers.

“It is clear that Maxima will not be what it was after the tragedy in Zolitude, Maxima will definitely change. The tragedy has caused a crisis at the company, but at the same time, it is also a turning point in its history and further development,” said Staškevičius.

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