A Bargain for Everyone
Owen Sinclair, owner and founder of Sinclair's Bargain Centre in Savanna-la-mar, Westmoreland, has been the company's main proprietor for more than 55 years, despite being well past the age of retirement. And he has no plans to retire.
"If you buy merchandise to sell, you have to sell at competitive prices and offer value for money," said the 83-year-old Sinclair, who is a household name across western Jamaica.
"People look for value everywhere you turn. People go out and look for something that is at a reasonable price, even if it is a Rolex. My motto is 'every purchase is a bargain,' and we try to do that."
Sinclair started his business enterprise in 1956 by selling goods in the market. He later opened his first store in Savanna-la-Mar in 1960.
"I got a job with an insurance company and I saved about 500 pounds. In 1956, I bought a van from that money and I bought goods and started travelling to the markets to sell," recalled Sinclair. "I did that from 1956 to 1960 then I opened the first store. By 1980, I began expanding and by 1990 I had 22 stores. I have cut back since 2010, so we now operate 13 stores," he told The Gleaner.
Although he is still active in the running of the business, Sinclair said that he has trained his children to take over. "My daughter, who I was training to take over from me, died suddenly ... I am now training my son and my other adopted son," said Sinclair.
Besides managing the store's main branch at Savanna-la-Mar, Sinclair has also served as a Member of Parliament for Western Westmoreland from 1972 to 1976 and as Custos Rotulorum of Westmoreland from 2000 to 2012. He is quite active in charity work, especially on behalf of the Savanna-la-Mar Primary School.