Hi-Lo Food Stores has officially opened its new state-of-the-art supermarket at the Boardwalk Shopping Village on Norman Manley Boulevard in Negril. The newest Hi-Lo store replaces the supermarket chain’s previous location on Negril’s West End and represents a J$400 million investment in the town.
Now the largest supermarket in Jamaica’s western region, Hi-Lo Negril offers customers modern conveniences, more room to shop and a world-class shopping experience. The new store is also one of six Hi-Lo supermarkets island-wide which give customers the option of shopping for their groceries online from anywhere in the world and having them delivered to their door in Jamaica. The new store will also feature a delicatessen, which will open later this year.
Speaking at the grand opening of Hi-Lo Negril on January 19, Don Wehby, Group CEO of GraceKennedy (GK), the parent company of Hi-Lo, commented, “I am so happy to be here at the grand opening of the latest addition to our Jamaican supermarket chain – Hi-Lo Food Stores Negril. It is such a proud moment for me to see the results of the hard work and commitment of our Hi-Lo team become a reality, and to see how our approximately J$400 million investment in Negril and the surrounding communities has grown and led us to this moment.”
Wehby went on to explain that GK’s investment in Hi-Lo Negril was one component of the Group’s wider involvement in the parish of Westmoreland. Through its Grace & Staff Community Development Foundation (Grace & Staff), GK had recently partnered with the Westmoreland Youth Innovation Centre to train and provide mentorship opportunities for parents in the parish. Grace & Staff also provides training and educational assistance for youth in the parish.
Janet Silvera, President of the Western Jamaica Media Association, and guest speaker at the Hi-Lo Negril opening commended GraceKennedy’s unwavering commitment to western Jamaica, “The Negril store has not only been relocated, but it has been transformed into a modern grocery shopping space, with international standards, carefully built and equipped to enhance the supermarket shopping experience for everyone.”
In keeping with GraceKennedy’s infusion of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles into its core business strategy as part of the Group’s 2030 vision, the new Hi-Lo Negril is powered by renewable energy.
Cathrine Kennedy, General Manager of Hi-Lo Food Stores Jamaica explained, “We have installed solar power grid-tied systems with a generating capacity that is projected to meet approximately 50 – 60% of the energy needs of this new Hi-Lo location.”
Frank James, CEO of GK Foods – Domestic added, “Our pivot towards solar energy is embedded in our new GK energy policy, which was launched in May last year and aims to diversify the Group’s energy supply, through sustainable energy solutions, including renewables.”
Going forward, every new build Hi-Lo store will incorporate solar energy and the existing Manor Park, Cross-Roads and Spanish Town Hi-Lo locations are also scheduled to have solar power systems installed this year.
Wehby explained, “Hi-Lo Food Stores is now one of the largest supermarket chains in Jamaica, with 13 locations island-wide. A part of our vision for Hi-Lo is to increase the number of stores to 20 conventional supermarkets and four express stores by 2030.”
GraceKennedy has been involved in the supermarket business for 38 years since the purchase of Hi-Lo from Neal & Massy in 1984.