Puerto Rico’s retail market continues to draw new players, this time with the arrival of home goods chain Anna’s Linens, which plans to invest more than $3.7 million to open five stores on the island this year, company President Alan Gladstone told News is my Business Thursday.
Gladstone, who is on the island to participate in today’s grand opening of the first store in Trujillo Alto, said although Anna’s Linens is aware of Puerto Rico’s challenging economic situation, the retailer is ready to “outperform, out-merchandise and out-value other stores.”
The 12,000 square-foot store, which entailed a $750,000 investment, will generate 35 new jobs. The next store that will require a similar investment, is slated to open in Ponce in two weeks, he said.
Anna’s Linens’ foray into the Puerto Rico market was five years in the making, and is the retailer’s first expansion outside the continental United States.
“We took our time to get the right real estate and make sure we could execute our strategy,” Gladstone said, confirming that the next two stores will open in Bayamón and Arecibo by late summer.
Those two stores will be located in malls owned by DDR Corp., as this media outlet reported in January.
Gladstone, who founded the chain in 1987 naming it after his mother, said over the next three years, there should be 15 stores islandwide. Anna’s Linens is a rapidly growing specialty retailer of high quality, value priced home furnishings. The retailer offers a broad selection of bedding, window coverings, bath accessories and other home décor items, including decorative pillows, housewares, kitchen textiles and area rugs.
“There’s no specialty store on the entire island that does what we do, we sell home goods in a beautiful environment with great customer service,” said Gladstone. “We’re aware that the retail pie is not growing, but we’re just going to take a bigger slice of the pie.”
“Everybody wants their home to look nice and we want to make it affordable,” he said, acknowledging that the company will spend about 33 percent more to open its local stores in comparison to what it invests in stateside locations.
“But everything is relative to what we can make, and we know that if we invest this we can make more,” he said. “We want to make this a multinational company by taking small steps. The future success we have here will give us confidence to open elsewhere.”
Anna’s Linens currently operates more than 300 stores in 18 states, with more than 2,800 employees.