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Home goods store serves Caribbean community locally and back home

Alex Harris is a senior sales associate at Courts Caribbean furtniture and appliance store on Church Avenue in Brooklyn. He worked at a Courts store in Jamaica prior to coming to the states.
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Instead of sending remittances to buy products to furnish a home, you can send the furniture directly.

An international furniture chain based in the Caribbean is providing this option to New Yorkers with houses or family back home. Courts sells furniture, appliances, and electronics to the Caribbean community for their households locally and abroad. The store sells various types of vital home products and is already a household name in the region. Being the only store to offer such an international service, that specific aspect is what continues to attract customers despite the popularity of online shopping, said a representative for the company.

“People do buy online but being able to actually see and touch the product — it’s one of bigger and great experiences and something that people still enjoy doing,” said Daniel Garcia, marketing coordinator of Unicomer, which owns Courts.

“We are also an internationally recognized brand and have been around for 50 years in the Caribbean, so people know we sell high quality items that are even recognizable within their families.”

Since 2011, the company branched out with two locations one in Brooklyn and the other in Queens, serving the predominantly Caribbean communities of East Flatbush and Jamaica respectively.

But one of the standout qualities of the Courts chain is their shipping. With factories in Jamaica, Trinidad, Belize, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent, Antigua, and Dominica, customers with family in these countries can experience the product in-store and purchase it for them, and a factory located in that country will follow-through with the deliveries.

Garcia says often at times, new buyers are confused to how it all works.

“It’s a common mistake — a lot of our first time customers think we ship the things we have in the store, but we have factories in the countries we service,” he said.

Because of this unique ability they are very popular here, but in the Caribbean there is a little rivalry with other businesses.

“We have competition that’s really aggressive in the Caribbean countries,” said Garcia. “But locally we are the only ones to offer international delivery because our facilities already have those products.”

Courts offers a credit program for customers to pay in installments, which Garcia said a good percentage of customers use to make payments. There is also a JN Money Transfer booth in each store. Alongside remittance access, Courts also offer installation and warranty services for purchased products. “The multiservice company has an atmosphere that is far-reaching, compared to other brands,” said Garcia.

“I would say a big factor about us, apart from the ambiance in the store, is the friendly and family orientated environment,” he said. “We have a Caribbean staff that knows where our customers come from and know the products and what they need — it’s big incentive that our customers can buy and relate to the staff.”

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimon@cnglocal.com.
Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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