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New Courts store at Portmore Pines to open in October

Unicomer, operator of the Courts furniture network, will open a second store in Portmore in St Catherine next month, while laying claim to nearly half of the Jamaican market amid continuing expansion.

It will operate from leased space in a new commercial complex that’s under development and which will also house a new Fontana Pharmacy outlet.

The level of investment in the furniture store was not disclosed, but it will open in October, Unicomer said.

Unicomer is targeting a location central to the growing residential community and its expanding outsourcing sector.

The company said the new location will be a megastore, incorporating various units of the business, as well as three money transfer services, namely JN Money, MoneyGram and Western Union.

“The new store will be called Courts Portmore Pines and become the second outlet beside Town Centre (Mall). This will be a Courts megastore, carrying furniture, appliances, electronics, accessories, power tools as well as a variety of services, including Courts Optical, Courts Ready Cash and value-added services from our money transfer partners and others,” said Unicomer Group Managing Director Edwin Vaquerano.

The local Unicomer Group operations comprise Unicomer Jamaica Limited and microfinancing company BlueStart Capital Jamaica, which trades as Courts Ready Cash.

Vaquerano said that the latest Jamaica FAE Industry Survey for January-December 2022 shows Unicomer Jamaica “regaining significant market share”, now at 45 per cent of the furniture market and split between Courts at 41 per cent and its Lucky Dollar chain at four per cent Vaquerano. FAE refers to furniture, appliance and electronics.

In relation to appliances, Courts holds 39 per cent of the market while Luck Dollar has three per cent, he added.

“Courts, Courts Optical, Courts Ready Cash, Ashley Furniture Homestore, RadioShack and Lucky Dollar furniture and appliance stores have all grown in the Jamaican market since their individual introductions. Courts Ready Cash now holds the largest footprint of any microloan operation in Jamaica,” he asserted.

“Additionally, we have just launched Courts Business Solutions, which will provide industrial-grade products for businesses.”

The new Courts location in Portmore comes amid expanding investment and new constructions in the municipality that Vaquerano says “represents continued promise and trust in growth and development”.

He did not disclose plans for additional stores, but said “Unicomer remains on an aggressive growth trajectory”.

So far for 2023, the company has opened a new Courts Optical store in Port Antonio and a Lucky Dollar furniture and appliance store in Old Harbour, he added.

“We also relocated our Courts Christiana branch to a newer, more open and accommodating space. The Courts megastore in Portmore will be the fourth launch event this year. The investment in each of these ventures was significant,” he said.

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