“Is this Courts from back home?” A lady with a distinctive Caribbean accent asked after she entered the brand new Courts store. When she received a resounding yes she replied, “What they doing here? To her and many others in the busy Jamaica Avenue shopping district, this was a complete surprise that Courts, the Caribbean’s largest furniture, electronics and appliances retailer, set up shop in their neighbourhood, which would give them a direct connection to home. The lady then found out that customers can purchase furniture in the US and it will be delivered the next day from a store in their respective country. She replied, “So you can shop here as though you are home?” She received a nod of approval for her brilliant analogy, then replied, “I am late for work, but I will be back! “ Then she hurried off to her nursing job.
The second Courts branch in New York was unveiled near the coliseum, off Jamaica Avenue – a place where I shopped when I first came to America. Unicomer, the owners of the chain Courts wants the new location to complement and build upon the existing patronage established in Flatbush Brooklyn which opened in 2008. To set things off with a bang, there were a host of activities during the opening weekend, including specials for customers, an inauguration ceremony officiated by Rev. Calvin McIntyre, attended by Lennox Price, Consul General of Barbados; Jean Alexander, The West Indian American Carnival Association; Senator Kevin Parker; Gil Figaro, President of The Sunshine Awards; Veteran Silvia Jordan, other VIP guests, Representatives of Courts/Unicomer and the Media.
At the ribbon cutting ceremony, ten year old creative dancer, Grenade, of Jamaican descent, performed to a medley of Michael Jackson hits, a stunning routine that made him a three-time-champion on Amateur Night at the Apollo. On Saturday, November 12th, shoppers were well entertained, informed and attracted to the new store due to a six hour live broadcast by Irie Jam Radio, WVIP 93.5FM, hosted by DJ Roy and the Dubmaster, with guests commentators including Aubrey Campbell.
As they say, it takes two hands to clap, and Courts has always made an effort to connect with the community, locally and internationally. At the unveiling of the new store, they honored Silvia Jordan, a 92 year old US veteran with Bajan ancestry, who has been through trials and tribulations, by giving her a recliner. In Barbados, they strongly support education, mainly through elementary school’s spelling contests. To this date, it still remains the main promoter of the National Spelling Contest. In St. Vincent, Courts is the main sponsor of all the elementary schools of the country. They sponsored the renewal of the football residency in Jamaica three years in a row and the 2007 Special Olympic Games held in China. Another sport that the Courts chain supports in Jamaica is basketball, through the awards for the Junior Division basketball tournament. Likewise, In Trinidad, Courts sponsored the local professional football league and the construction of a school for handicapped children. They also gave a donation to a nationwide foundation to enrich and improve the lives of the homeless. In Guyana, Courts sponsored a Habitat for Humanity housing project for underprivileged families. The chain also works hand in hand with the local food program for most vulnerable children. In Belize, the company donated mattresses to victims of Hurricane Dean in 2007. It also supports the Red Cross and the Salvation Army in their efforts to provide relief to victims of natural disasters.