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State Minister Ffolkes-Abrahams Welcomes Growth of Franchises

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State Minister for Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, has welcomed the growth of overseas-owned franchises in Jamaica, particularly entities partnering with local stakeholders.

Such development, she said, is testament of the “attractiveness” of Jamaica’s market, and is a “positive signal to prospective investors, who may be considering Jamaica as a destination for other investments.”

Mrs. Ffolkes-Abrahams was speaking on Wednesday, December 18, at the official opening of American wireless accessory retailer, Cellairis’ first store in Jamaica, at Lower Manor Plaza, St. Andrew.

The State Minister said Cellairis not only joins a growing number of overseas franchises operating in Jamaica, but also diversifies the product offerings on the landscape, traditionally dominated by popular food chains.

“Franchising is but one of the investment models utilized by the transnational companies engaged in non-equity modes. A 2011 report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)…noted that cross-border franchising sales totaled approximately US$350 billion in 2010, employing over 19,000 persons,” she informed.

She said that Cellairis’ entry into Jamaica is a welcome addition to the business and investment landscape, based on the entity’s background.

The firm, described as a world leader in the provision of wireless accessories, has been in operation for 13 years, seven of which have been in franchising. The entity, which prides itself in providing quality customer service and repairs, has grown exponentially over the past six years and currently operates from over 700 locations across the United States and seven other countries, including Jamaica, its first Caribbean operation.

Among Cellairis’ accolades is a number 87 ranking on the globally-respected Entrepreneur Magazine’s top 500 franchise list; a number 8 ranking on Atlanta Business Chronicles’ Top Atlanta-based Franchises; and being listed as the 11th fastest growing franchise for 2013 by Entrepreneur Magazine.

Cellairis has partnered with local firm, Communicase, headed by former Jamaica Promotions Corporation (Jampro) President, Sancia Bennett-Templer, to establish its market-base.

By Douglas McIntosh

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