PRESS RELEASE – Unicomer (Saint Lucia) Limited held an official sod turning ceremony for the planned Courts Mega Store at Marisule, Gros Islet on Tuesday, August 11, 2015.
In attendance were several dignitaries, including Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony.
Also present were Cabinet colleagues Hon. Philip J. Pierre, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport; and Hon. Emma Hippolyte, Minister for Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs.
Representing Unicomer were Mr. Guillermo Siman, Group Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President; Mr. Mario Guerrero, Managing Director for the Caribbean and USA; and Mr. Errol LeBlanc, Managing Director for the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States.
Speaking on the theme of ‘Coming To Fruition At The Right Time,’ the Prime Minister welcomed the new development. The marquee store will be largest of its kind in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, where the company operates 19 outlets. The new Courts Mega Store will nearly double the total volume of the chain’s retail space in Saint Lucia, and will include space for the firm’s corporate headquarters.
Said Dr. Anthony, “There can be no doubt that this investment is coming at an opportune time, and the Government is indeed grateful to Unicomer for its commitment to this project and to Saint Lucia.
“We are cognisant that Saint Lucia is important to Unicomer, as it represents over a third of your Eastern Caribbean business, with Courts capturing nearly 80% of the local market for furniture, electronics and household appliance sales.
“As such, this capital investment of over EC$20 million into your new flagship property is well placed, well timed and well justified.”
The Courts Mega Store is projected to be completed in 2016. It will sit next to the company’s Distribution Centre, built at a cost of EC$8 million.
The Prime Minister noted that this latest demonstration of confidence in the Saint Lucian economy by Unicomer will boost employment, and that in time to come, the company will reap the rewards.
Said Dr. Anthony, “Unicomer’s capital investment in this megastore will be an important boost in the private construction sub-sector. I am advised that over 200 persons will be employed in construction activities over a 12-month period and indeed in this regard, every job created here counts.
“Additionally, Unicomer-Courts is itself an employer of over 300 persons here in Saint Lucia and we are confident that as our economy expands, as we seek to attract new investment in the years to come, your company can only stand to benefit.”
The new facility will include more than 25,000 square feet of retail space, a further 15,000 of office space, and over 100 parking spaces. Saint Lucia accounts for a third of Courts business in the Eastern Caribbean.