Sat | Nov 28, 2020

PriceSmart to construct second store in Portmore, says planning data

Published:Friday | June 7, 2019 | 12:27 AM

PriceSmart, which operates stores across the Caribbean and Latin America, plans to build a second store in Jamaica to be located in Portmore, St Catherine.

The company received a “permit for the construction and operation of office and commercial complex, which includes shopping centres”, according to government approvals. The complex will span more than 5,000 square metres at lots 2 and 7 Braeton Parkway, St Catherine, the approvals stated.

PriceSmart Realty Jamaica Limited, a subsidiary of PriceSmart Inc, applied for the development approvals. The Financial Gleaner tried unsuccessfully to get comments from the company’s representatives at Red Hills Road, St Andrew.

The company received approval for the development in January this year, but details emerged this week in documentation prepared by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA).

PriceSmart opened its single location in Jamaica in 2003. The timeline for the second location remains beyond 2019 as the parent company did not include it in its 2019 pipeline of developments, according to the latest quarterly filing by PriceSmart for the February 2019 second-quarter.

The company expects to grow its network of stores from 41 to 45 by year end, following the buildout of clubs in Santiago, Panama and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, San Cristobal, Guatemala, and an additional club in Panama City, Panama.

“Once these four new clubs are open, the company will operate 45 warehouse clubs,” said PriceSmart about its 2019 pipeline.

Last summer, PriceSmart expanded its operations at its Red Hills Road business to add a second floor for parking, reflecting increased business at the complex. The development sought to ease congestion at the superstore, according to outgoing Chief Financial Officer John Heffner, who previously spoke to the Financial Gleaner on the matter. At the time, the company continuing its search for a second location, he said.

PriceSmart stated that the Jamaica operations benefited from the overall growth in the wholesale and distribution trade.

The sales in Jamaica are not disaggregated but on a whole, PriceSmart earned revenue of US$817.9 million for three months ending February 2019, with net income at US$23.8 million compared to US$14.1 million a year earlier.

PriceSmart, headquartered in San Diego, United States, owns and operates 41 membership shopping warehouse clubs in 12 countries and one US territory. This includes seven each in Colombia and Costa Rica, five in Panama, four each in Trinidad and the Dominican Republic, three each in Guatemala and Honduras, two each in El Salvador and Nicaragua, and one each in Aruba, Barbados, Jamaica and the United States Virgin Islands, according to PriceSmart.

The company, in its last annual report, explained that markets such as Jamaica and Nicaragua offer increased market opportunities when compared with larger consumer markets in the region, including Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com