Ashley Furniture opens first Jamaican store

Ashley Furniture opens first Jamaican store

Heads to T&T in September

BY KARENA BENNETT Business reporter

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

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Unicomer Jamaica Limited, which trades as Courts Jamaica, yesterday officially opened the Caribbean’s first Ashley Furniture HomeStore.

The franchised operation will see Ashley Furniture being operated by Unicomer at its new 11,200-square-foot showroom located in Liguanea.

A total of 14 jobs will also be created by the joint commitment of the entities.

"It is a great honour to be part of this milestone event for the Unicomer Group — as we open our very first Ashley HomeStore here in Jamaica," managing director of Unicomer Caribbean and USA, Mario Guerrero told the audience during the grand opening.

"We are proud that Ashley Furniture Industries, the largest manufacturer of furniture in the world, embarked on this journey with us," he continued.

According to Guerrero, Ashley Furniture intends to offer a wide range of quality products to the Jamaican market. Prior to the official opening of the franchised Ashley Furniture HomeStore in Jamaica, Courts sold particular products, including bedroom, dining and living room sets from the Ashley line.

It’s a partnership that started six years ago, which later deepened with the opening of 13 exclusive Ashley Galleries across the region.

"Jamaica is one of our biggest markets in the region; we have been here longest — over 55 years — so we have a good presence and a good team. We needed to start and we felt that this was a good place and that Liguanea was a good location," Guerrero told the Jamaica Observer.

The furniture and retail giant is now eyeing the opening of a second Ashley Furniture Store in Trinidad next month.

"Unicomer is in 15 countries across the Caribbean and Trinidad is also one of our largest markets — we have been there fewer years but we also feel that there is a great opportunity in Trinidad for concepts like Ashley HomeStore, so we are looking at growing in Trinidad the same time we are growing in Jamaica," the managing director continued.

In January, management of the Unicomer Group in a letter to the public stated that, "Courts Liguanea will be closing its doors to the public, as it looks forward to a new and exciting retail venture."

The company has been operating at the location for 16 years, after opening its doors in Jamaica some 56 years ago and expanding its footprint to more than 46 stores across the island.

Ashley Furniture HomeStore is a United States-based furniture retailer with more than 625 locations in 28 countries. The store features bedroom, dining room, upholstery, entertainment centres, home office, area rugs and accessories.

The company’s bedding gallery exhibits one of the fastest growing mattress brands, Ashley Sleep.

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