Business

Active Traders mega-sizes on Constant Spring Road

Home centre’s expansion to meet demands of growing customer base

BY SHAMILLE SCOTT Business reporter scotts@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, May 01, 2013    

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ACTIVE Traders Limited will increase its range of products and services with its new complex on Constant Spring Road, to be open on Monday.

It's new showroom will operate under the brand, Active Home Centre. The display area has more than quadrupled the size of the existing Dunrobin Avenue-based showroom.

Active Home Centre was built with an 'open store, within a store' concept. It spans over 35,000 square feet on the first two floors, but the four-storey building is over 100,000 square feet.

"The relocation of the Active showroom naturally reflects the increase in our customers needs, which demands larger space

to operate more effectively," said Christopher Graham, Active Traders' managing director.

The multimillion-dollar property, which also includes the warehouse, was an opportunity for Active Traders to build on the business, said Safi James-Barrow, the company's spokesperson.

Active Traders started out selling tiles, including granite, as its core business. But expanded to provide more flooring products as well as roofing and bathroom fixtures for residential and commercial spaces.

With the expanded complex, the company now offers kitchen and lighting fixtures as well as furniture to its line of products.

"We look forward to the rebirth of the home finishing and enhancement industry in Jamaica by expanding our retail portfolio to lighting, furniture and kitchen products," Graham said.

James-Barrow interjected: "There are thousands and thousands of products, this is a lot bigger than what you would find in most places in Jamaica."

As for the building on Dunrobin Avenue, she said no final decision has been made on the property, but noted that no selling will take place there.

"We are more leaning towards using it as a storage area," she revealed.

James-Barrow declined to tell how much was spent on the new complex, but described the investment as sizeable.

"A lot of resources went into the expansion and, because of the conditions of our economy, we are able to provide all these products at competitive prices," James-Barrow said.

About 80 persons will be employed, including 25 new workers.

"We still need more, we are still growing, but it's not necessarily about quantity, but quality, so we are taking our time to grow," she said.

There's been a lot of interest and people are looking forward to the opening, she told the Business Observer.

The layout of the complex represents Active's objective of allowing customers to visualise what they are buying.

For example, there are pre-arranged kitchens with modern, and transitional looks, including fixtures on display.

"This is the reason we have the expansion, because with something that is so intimate as what you are putting into your home and your office, you need to see it, touch it..." James-Barrow said.

Other features of the complex include a design centre, where customers can seek advice from Active Traders about a project they are undertaking. There is also a meeting room where architects and designers can book the space to meet with clients and have access to samples.

Additionally, there will be a one-stop store called "The Shoppe" where customers can purchase a few items such as desk lamps and locks.

Shopping for its customers will be hassle-free, said James-Barrow.

"Customers won't have to stand in line for a cashier to carry out certain transactions, as we will have sales representatives in the departments," she said. "Any payment methods other than cash are handled by the sales representatives."

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