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Hi-Lo heads back to Liguanea

Published:Sunday | January 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Andrea Coy, CEO of GraceKennedy Foods Jamaica.

Hi-Lo Food Stores will re-enter the Liguanea commercial district by the beginning of the second quarter, around April, when it takes over the space recently vacated by Empire Supermarket in the Liguanea Lane Plaza.

The GraceKennedy (GK) subsidiary previously operated from the Liguanea Plaza, across the road from its new home, but shuttered that store in 2009 when its landlord requested the site.

Hi-Lo will lease the location for 10 years, in the first instance, with the option to renew, CEO of GraceKennedy Foods Jamaica Andrea Coy told Sunday Business, but was tight-lipped on the rates and other conditions.

"The Liguanea area, in general, is ideal for us, so we are just happy to be back," Coy said. It will become Hi-Lo's 13th store.

Plans for the layout and amenities are still in the design stages, Coy said, but added that the eventual offering will see similarities to those of the recently refurbished Manor Park and Barbican stores in Kingston.

"In Barbican, we have the juice centre and we have a bakery. You can expect to see those featuring in the new location as well. There may be other services, but we are still in design mode, so we are in the process of working those through," the GK executive said.

GraceKennedy is executing a US$8 million renovation programme across the chain, with the Fairview, Montego Bay, outlet tapped as next in line for a facelift, the company said.

The new addition also presents an opportunity to tap potential customers with the revamp offerings implemented through the chain's current renovations plans.

At 33,000 square feet, the new Liguanea store marks "one of our biggest" in the chain, the company said.

"This location is an ideal one for us. We are putting all the plans in place to ensure that we capitalise on this," said Hi-Lo general manager, RenÈe Nathan.