TODAY VENEZUELA – The network of small supermarkets Día a Día, recently seized by the Venezuelan government over charges of alleged hoarding and boycott against the domestic economy, has rejected the statements made by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in a press release sent on Saturday to mass media.
The communiqué reads as follows:
“Día a Día has not incurred in neither hoarding nor boycott practices as the government
accuses us as part of its solution to the serious food scarcity situation in Venezuela,” commenced the communiqué.
Dia Dia Practimercados is a chain of 35 small high frequency stores throughout Venezuela, dedicated to serving the poorest sectors of the population by offering basic staples at fair and regulated prices in a worthy environment, very different from the shopping alternatives where we operate. From its beginnings in 2005, Día a Día has grown to employ more the 800 people whose hard work and compromise help serve our clients nationwide.
According to best practices, our chain operates with logistic efficiencies through a unique central warehouse located in La Yaguara, Caracas. Our stores are small ( 3200 sq ft ) to be able to be located within popular sectors of the cities, with no ample deposits space thus requiring frequent deliveries ( 2 times per day to every other day) in order to be continuously well stocked. Therefore, it is completely normal that our central warehouse contains most of our stock to serve just a few days of sales. For example, for Harina Pan, corn flour and a very popular product under price control, the warehouse holds no more than 3 days of stock for sales of 197 tons per day.
All products that enter our central warehouse are distributed to the stores. The government knows this very well given that all inventory movements, orders received from suppliers as well store fulfillments, require an special dispatch guide 100% authorized by the government through a system called SICA.
Therefore, it knows real time all goods movements, quantities and type of products that enter and exit our warehouse.
The Government through the Ministry of Food (and agency SUNDEE) performed on Sunday February 1st, an additional legal inspection to the chain for which we gave total support and opened our facilities, including our central warehouse. Despite our full collaboration, more than 40 employees including stores and logistic managers were irregularly detained for questioning. As of today our CEO Manuel Morales is still being held at SEBIN jail (a special government police force). Mr. Morales was detained
Monday morning as he exited the Miraflores Government Palace after a meeting between the ministry and a group of supermarket chains. We are making use of all legal resources to ensure his prompt liberation.
None of the three proceedings performed by SUNDEE were able to prove any wrongdoing by Día a Día. Therefore, why are we persecuted by doing the right thing? This is a business. It just does not make sense to hoard or boycott when more than 70% of the portfolio is under price controls. Our goal is to sell.
Día a Día, since its foundation, has served its purpose to distribute food and quality products on a daily basis to the poorest sectors of the population. Dia Dia has fulfilled all labor regulations and responsibilities with its employees, with suppliers, and with national and municipal fiscal obligations.
We are Día a Día, young, honest, professional and hard-working people. We stand with our heads up high as we want to continue to grow and provide our valuable service to the poor, each day, efficiently, according to law, just as we have done for the last 10 years.”