Trinidad-based American Stores Ltd will begin its regional expansion with the opening of two furniture stores in the city in two weeks alongside plans to offer commercial services in four other key locations across the country.
“The American Stores Ltd is coming to the Guyanese market subsequent to careful research and coupled with the development of the Guyanese economy,” Manager of the Guyanese branches Austill Ogle said yesterday at a press conference at the Pegasus Hotel, at Kingston, Georgetown.
According to another official, Jared Hamilton, the stores will be located on Regent and Cummings streets, and 3132 D’Urban Street. He stated that the company also expects to commence commercial services in Linden, Corriverton, Bartica and on the East Bank of Demerara within six months of the opening of its Georgetown locations. No disclosure was made of the scale of the investment.
So far, the company has employed over 20 persons to work at the Regent Street location along with experienced Trinidadian staffers who will aid training and development. In a press statement, the company noted that the local staffers will be sent to Trinidad and Tobago for further training and “firsthand” experience of the company’s operations there.
“The American Store is delighted to bring our special brand of quality and service to the people of Guyana. We look forward to the company evolving locally from its strong retail chain to include furniture manufacturing in the Guyana sector, with a long term view of supplying all of its stores, thereby creating varied employment opportunities for the local community,” the statement said.
The statement added that the directors of the company had made the decision to expand the Trinidadian chain regionally. They had agreed to select Guyana as the first country for its regional company chain.
The company, known as “the peoples’ store” because it is said to provide affordable furniture and general household goods, is a family-owned furnishing business which has been serving Trinidad and Tobago since 1950. The company started, with the founder Shaikh Hosein buying furniture from Americans in the Second World War. The Americans, who were leaving the small island, sold their furniture to Hosein. “The American Store Limited looks forward to meeting and serving the local population,” the statement said.
Currently there are 13 branch stores in Trinidad and Tobago.
The company promised the lowest and affordable prices. “We are prepared to making quality living affordable by providing quality products at competitive prices, fostering partnerships with local manufacturers, and stakeholders to generate employment opportunities. This venture will satisfy local expansion,” Ogle said, while noting that the company’s low prices would differentiate it from other companies. He added that the store will offer customers the opportunity to purchase by cash or hire purchase.
The company, he said, will make an authentic contribution to Guyana’s economy and stimulate the expansion of local manufacturing companies and other private sector enterprises.
The American Stores Ltd will start operations on November 29 at its Regent Street and D’Urban Street locations.
There will be a three-day launch of the company on the Guyanese market, which will include live entertainment, with performances from both Guyanese and Trinidadian artistes. Among the Trinidadian performers will be Ravi B, Nisha B and Gregory. The first day launch will include prize drawings, followed by a Spin-to-Win competition on November 30. The launch will close off with the start of the company’s Christmas campaign.