Richard Browne, Business Reporter
Electronics company Samsung says it plans to add another retail store in Montego Bay.
Its first Samsung Experience Store was opened in Kingston on Thursday, where the new Galaxy Gear smartwatch and Galaxy Note 3 tablet are among the mobile offerings.
"We've been looking to do this for a long time," said Michelle Alvarez, project manager of the Samsung Experience Store, Samsung Electronics Latin America, in an interview.
"It proves our commitment to Jamaica," she said.
The Samsung Experience Store at Tropical Plaza is the third in the Caribbean, after Aruba and the Dominican Republic. Plans are in motion for new openings in Puerto Rico, Curaçao and St Martin.
Jamaica is the first market in the Caribbean to launch the Gear.
This piece of "wearable technology" works in tandem with the Samsung Note 3 tablet, and is launching at the same time in the United States. The watch has various functions, including making and receiving calls, taking photographs and working as a pedometer.
Alvarez would not be pinned down on the cost of their investment in Jamaica, but said "we do believe in the market here. We are investing a lot - it's a huge investment, but its going to pay off."
Nor could she be pinned down on sales expectations, apart from saying that sales will go "really good", an assessment she said was based on the sales performance of smartphone Galaxy S4 in Jamaica.
The Montego Bay store is to open in November or early December in time for Christmas, but no location has yet been decided upon.
Samsung will be working in partnership with Innoco, and will be seeking to tap into the tourist market, Alvarez said.
"Prices will be competitive with other providers in Jamaica," Alvarez said. "We don't want to undersell our partners."
The Kingston store "is a Samsung store, but we are opening with a partner," Ms Alvarez said.
Samsung has about "a 50-50 partnership" with Royale PC and Electronics on the Tropical Plaza store, which is owned by Pradeep and Jack Khemlani, she said.
The store will open with six staff, but that number could increase "depending on how well business goes," Alvarez said.
It will sell Samsung phones, tablets, computers, TVs and accessories.
The company does not expect its stores to affect relations with Digicel or LIME.
"We sell completely different products from what they sell," said Alvarez. "We showcase everything we have."