Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer
The new and spectacular Courts Constant Spring store had its grand unveiling ceremony on Friday, December 7, and hundreds of Jamaicans participated in this memorable event.
The state-of-the art store is the first of its kind for the retail chain in the Caribbean, and it is complete with features such as solar-powered energy, an elevator, and a new optical section that offers eyeglasses on credit. The upgraded store is nothing short of a customer's dream and was completed in just 10 months.
The Unicomer Group operates more than 700 retail stores in 19 countries in the Americas, 130 of which are located in 11 Caribbean jurisdictions and the United States of America. Jamaica accounts for the most under the Courts brand, with a total of 29 stores spread across the country.
According to Mario Guerrero, managing director, Unicomer Caribbean and the United States of America, the investment in the new store surpassed US$4 million and speaks to the company's commitment to Jamaica. "Despite the economic challenges affecting the country, we are confident in its long-term future. We plan to contribute with a significant investment next year to expand the distribution centre in Kingston to cater to our expected business growth," Guerrero said.
Meanwhile, Dennis Harris, managing director, Unicomer Jamaica, said, with the challenges facing businesses in the Jamaican economy, many are unsure whether to invest in their business. However, Unicomer's perspective is that there are always opportunities to grow and develop.
"This is the largest recent investment. We are proud to have increased the number of stores over the past few years while continuing an aggressive store-refurbishment programme. All these initiatives have resulted in increased employment and economic activity across the country," Harris said.
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, in her address, said the opening of the newly refurbished store was appropriately positioned in the season of goodwill, and offered more than a special gift that outweighed the monetary value.
"They have forged a strong productive partnership that has impacted and imprinted many aspects of Jamaican life. They continue to be a key player in furniture and retail, providing quality products that are designed to enhance the living and working environment," Simpson Miller said.
The building and interior and structural support were done by Dennis Barnaby Construction Limited, while the concept came from an overseas architect.
The store was officially opened by managing director, Unicomer Jamaica, Dennis Harris; managing director, Unicomer Caribbean and the United States - Mario Guerrero; Mario Siman, Unicomer Group CEO; Oscar Kerr - general manager, Courts Constant Spring; Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, and Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Anthony Hylton.