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Carby's Portmore store shuttered

Published:Sunday | January 11, 2015 | 1:00 AM

Avia Collinder, Business Reporter

Andre Carby, who, in 2011, launched out with business partners to open clothing and souvenirs store Carby's Portmore, says he has closed the business amid losses.

He is also getting poor responses to efforts to sell off stock and equipment.

The Portmore store, notwithstanding the name and family connections to the owners, is not related to the popular Carby's Discount Centre at Twin Gates in Kingston, said André, the son of Wendel Carby.

Carby's Portmore Limited is an unconnected company and his first big project, André told Sunday Business.

Carby is trying to sell the stock and equipment but is having no success because of the depressed market in which new shop investments are scarce.

"Even the companies that we bought the stands from who normally sell used ones as well, they say nobody is opening. They have a warehouse full of stands, so they can't take anymore until some of those go," he said.

"I keep calling. They suggested that some might go during Christmas, but now they say not enough went. Not many people will open up business right now. They Government says it's trying to make things better, but I am not seeing it."

Carby said on Wednesday that new taxes - including the small-business tax and asset taxes - are partly to blame for the weakness of the market. But he also said his sales fell as workers in Portmore were laid off from their jobs.

December 2014 would have marked the third anniversary of the store.

"It started off well. But with people getting laid off, the business just went down. We basically struggled from the beginning of 2014 to pay bills, so we decided that we had to close it in August," Carby said.

The company, which started with four workers, had also cut staff to two.

Carby declined comment on how much was invested in the store but said he was unable to cover his bills from January 2014 and that the business was in the red.

"Most businesses don't make back what they put in until like three to four years after they have started. We were still operating at a loss. It was my personal business with partners, separate from Carby's Twin Gates. It was a good deal of money we invested," he said.

The entrepreneur said that he is considering another venture but not under the current economic conditions.

"Even the manufacturers are complaining. Prices are going to skyrocket. They can't export their stuff and they can't import either because of the prices of raw material."

He said 40 to 50 per cent of Carby's Portmore products were locally manufactured.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com