The first ever escalator in Samoa is a feature of the Bluebird Megastore at Vaitele.
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA: FRIDAY 7 AUGUST 2015: An escalator for customers access between two floors of Bluebirds expansive Transformation Hardware Building at Vaitele is a far cry from the company’s humble beginnings that started from under a mango tree 29 years ago.
Opened last Friday the two storey mega hardware store is a signature to becoming the leading hardware and building materials company in Samoa.
Twenty nine years ago, Blue Bird Lumbers Hardware operation started from under a mango tree where customers came to buy lumbers.
It was a slow start to a company destined for bigger things, and the opening was proof of that company’s perseverance and success with a promise of more to come.
BBL Managing Director Tuiaopo Andrew Ah Liki did not dwell on the history of BBLH, but spoke briefly of the time BBL started its operation from under the mango tree.
The transformation includes the extension of the business not only in size but the addition of more business categories to the old shop.
BBL is the first business to install an escalator stairway inside the building, giving the business an international look and linking customers quickly and easily to the top floor of the business where the toy world and homeware are located.
Tuiaopo said the transformation was long overdue.
“Today is the start of this wave of transformation across the BBL stores and branches throughout Samoa and I have pleasure in announcing our new slogan “Building and Beyond ….For You”
BBLH has progress to a new level of service and by doing so, increase the number of services and staff to cater for customers.
“Today marks a refocus of the Board & Management team on the most important aspect of service, caring for you our customers,” he said.
Tuiaopo said caring about the customer’s needs and how they (customers) view BBLH’s work is their utmost priority.
“In taking this long overdue step, we wish to thank the people of Samoa who have graced our store time and time again,” said Tuiaopo.
He also acknowledged the Government Ministries, donor agencies , the building industries , religious denominations and organisations, companies and every individual young or old who has bought off BBLH shelves.
“Without you, we would not be, thank you for your support, loyalty and your generosity of purse, ” said Tuiaopo.
He also acknowledge the support from their overseas suppliers and partners who have supplied BBLH with the best value building products, great ideas and much needed training for BBLH staff.
BBLH has 20 international suppliers scattered around the world, from China, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, China, USA and Fiji who sent representatives to the launch.
“We remain your partners in trade,” said Tuiaopo.
Tuiaopo acknowledged the great work by the representatives of DoitBest Corporation in transforming BBLH shelves into a professional merchandising area in a very short time.
He also acknowledged his family and friends who have stood by the company throughout the years especially the staff and people at BBLH.
“To you, we give a big ‘faafetai and faamalo’ for bearing with our shortcomings, and for your huge support,” he said.
“You have been the backbone of this company and to the present and those who have travelled this road with us, we hope for many good things to come your way in your time with us.”
The transformation according to Tuiaopo is the first of many changes as the company progress into the future.
The launch was attended by family, friends and the business community.
BBLH’s Directors are Tuiaopo Andrew Ah Liki and Ali’imuamua Kereti Ah Liki and their four children, Leonardo, Paul, Faina and Andrew Jr. are all shareholders of the company.