Unicomer Group

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Unicomer Group
Type Private company
Industry Retail
Founded 2000
Headquarters San Salvador, El Salvador
Area served Central America, Caribbean Islands, United States, South America
Products Furniture, electronics, appliances
Employees 13,000
Website http://www.regalforest.com
Unicomer Group Headquarters - San Salvador, El Salvador
La Curaçao, Las Lomas, - Honduras
LaCuracao, Las Lomas - Honduras
La Curaçao - Guatemala
Courts Caribbean USA - Brooklyn, New York

Regal Forest Holding Co. Ltd., operating as Unicomer Group (Spanish: Grupo Unicomer), is a large international retailing group based in El Salvador that operates several chains of retail brands in the consumer durables sector, specializing in furniture, appliances, and electronics. The Unicomer Group operates over 830 stores in Central America, the Caribbean, South America, and the United States, and employs over 13,000 associates.[1] Mario Siman has been CEO of the group since its inception in 2000.[2] The company has its headquarters in the Edificio Unicomer in the Escalon area of San Salvador, El Salvador.[3]

History[edit]

The Unicomer Group was founded in 2000, when it acquired the retail operations in Central America of the Dutch group CETECO NV.

Unicomer Group owns large brands such as La Curaçao (Central America and the Dominican Republic), Opticas La Curaçao, Loco Luis, Servitotal, Almacenes Tropigas, the Radio Shack franchise in Central America, Sony Center in Nicaragua and Gollo in Costa Rica. Lucky Dollar, Courts Optical and Bargain Center are the other chains located in the (Caribbean), Unicomer USA and Courts Caribbean located in the United States and Artefacta and Baratodo are in Ecuador.

As of 2012 Unicomer Group has four stores in the United States, including two in Houston and two in New York City.[4] Unicomer entered the U.S. market because of the increasing Hispanic American population.[5]

About La Curacao[edit]

The Central American retail chain La Curaçao was established about 60 years ago, by the Dutch Curaçao Trading Company (CETECO), which itself was established in the late 1800s in The Netherlands. In 2000, the Unicomer Group was established by merging these former Ceteco operations into the Prisma Hogar chain of the Siman Group. This "merger" was called in Spanish a "Union Comercial", and hence the abbreviated name "Unicomer".

About Courts[edit]

Courts was founded in 1850, with only one store in England. The company was established in the Caribbean region since 1959, and is the Caribbean's largest furniture, appliance and electrical retailer. The company has stores across the Caribbean islands: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, and also on the South American continent in Guyana.[6] In 2006, Unicomer Group realized the first ever LBO in the Caribbean by acquiring the publicly traded operations of Courts in Jamaica and Barbados, and by acquiring the remaining operations directly from the holding, Courts plc, in the UK.

In 2008, Unicomer Group opened its first Courts Caribbean store in Brooklyn, NY.[7] In 2011 Unicomer Group expanded its services by opening a store in Queens, catering principally to the Caribbean immigrant communities in the area.[8]

Corporate Social Responsibility[edit]

Unicomer Group, through its different commercial chains, has partnered with the [[Ministry of Education of El Salvador]] to provide computers to students with highest grades in the city of San Salvador, has donated student desks, school supplies and food containers for rural schools in Central America, has provided college scholarships, has sponsored students from elementary schools located in rural areas, and provides community service activities with its employees. Most recently, in coordination with the non-profit organization Glasswing of El Salvador. In Barbados, Unicomer Group, through its chain Courts Caribbean strongly supports 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.[9]

In sports, La Curaçao of Central America is firmly committed to contributing to the development of physical and mental health of the children in public schools through sports. Unicomer Group, through its chain La Curaçao,supports Educating a Salvadoran Foundation FESA. Additionally, La Curaçao Honduras became the official sponsor of the national gymnastics team by providing the team members with sports inputs and uniforms. Courts sponsored the renewal of the football residency in Jamaica three years in a row and also, 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, Courts sponsored the sports programs of the St. Vincent Technical School. And, in Trinidad Courts sponsored the local professional football league.[10]

In June 2013, Courts announced their sponsorship of the Caribbean Premier League “CPL’s partnership with Courts is a very strategic and beneficial one to both parties, and we are thrilled about the possibilities that exist for us from a marketing perspective,” said CPL CEO Damien O’ Donohoe. “Combining our advertising and marketing programmes with that of Courts will heighten the awareness of CPL across the region, and increase fan support, which will put people in the stands at matches and customers in the aisles of Courts.”[11]

Support to Humanitarian Institutions[edit]

Central America During the summer, La Curaçao of El Salvador provides support to the Salvadoran Red Cross by donating kits for relief workers that volunteer their time and effort throughout the country. The Red Cross of Nicaragua also benefits from the unconditional support of the La Curaçao, holding a Bingo every year to raise funds for this humanitarian organization. La Curaçao also unconditionally supports the Salvadoran Telethon, by sponsoring the "Boteo program" providing t-shirts and equipment to volunteers every year.

In Trinidad, Courts sponsored the construction of a school for handicapped children and also gave a donation to a nationwide foundation for the homeless, to enrich and improve the lives of these persons.

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.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Courts entering North American market." Caribbean360. March 4, 2010. Retrieved on March 4, 2010.
  2. ^ Unicomer Group. Retrieved on March 4, 2010.
  3. ^ Prelude. (Select "English," then select the mail icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen) Unicomer Group. Retrieved on March 4, 2010. "Central Office Edificio La Curacao - Unicomer Alameda Manuel Enrique Araujo 3er Nivel, S.S. El Salvador, C.A."
  4. ^ Home page. Unicomer USA. Retrieved on March 4, 2010.
  5. ^ Staff. "BUSINESS / Targeting immigrants." Houston Chronicle. Sunday August 20, 2006. A1. Retrieved on March 4, 2010.
  6. ^ "About us". Shopcourts.com. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  7. ^ "Courts to open first U.S. furniture, home goods store - 2008-10-16 06:49:11". Furniture Today. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  8. ^ "COURTS CARIBBEAN launches their US Outfit in Brooklyn New York | Baiganchoka - Caribbean Blogs and Entertainment". Baiganchoka. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  9. ^ "Courts opens in Queens | The Trinidad Guardian Newspaper". Guardian.co.tt. 2011-11-24. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  10. ^ "McCollin leads Police to 69-goal victory | The Trinidad Guardian Newspaper". Guardian.co.tt. 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  11. ^ http://cplt20.com/news/courts-stores-sign-caribbean-premier-league-sponsor
  12. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]