Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Friday | January 18, 2013
Home : Business
Fontana buys Azmart
Jacqueline Azan, managing director of Azmart in Barbican. - File
Sabrina Gordon, Business Reporter

Fontana Pharmacy has acquired Azmart, a harberdashery business in Barbican, which also operates a drug window.

The price was not disclosed.

The acquisition gives Fontana a presence in Kingston.

Fontana will take over the operation in February and retain the Azmart brand for a while, but will eventually rebrand the business, said managing director Kevin O'Brien Chang.

"We will make the transition gradually by the end of February. We will make some changes more akin to the Fontana feel but nothing radical - just gradual improvements, building on the strength of Azmart," Chang told Financial Gleaner.

Fontana has acquired the Azmart business, but not the real estate. It will operate from the property under lease.

Companies Office records name Azmart managing director Jacqueline Azan and Nicola Sirgany as owners. However, the real estate is owned by Jacqueline's husband, Mark Azan.

Azan referred queries about the deal to Mark, but he did not return calls for comment.

"We have enjoyed serving our customers but are now moving on to more personal commitments," said Jacqueline.

Fontana began operations in Mandeville in 1968, later expanding to Montego Bay in 1993 and Savanna-la-Mar in 2007, and now Kingston.

"Circumstances made it a good deal," said Chang. We have always wanted to come to Kingston and have been looking for a place, so now circumstances made it happen and represents a mutually beneficial deal for both parties," he said.

Fontana will also open its fourth outlet in mid-2013 in Ocho Rios.

In Mandeville, Fontana occupies a 8,000 square feet space, about 10, 000 square feet in Savanna-la-Mar and 20,000 in Montego Bay.

According to Chang, the Ocho Rios shop is expected to be of similar size to the Savanna-la-Mar operation with about 9,000 to 10,000 square feet, while the newly acquired Azmart is about 15,000 square feet.

sabrina.gordon@gleanerjm.com

 

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