Apple authorized reseller iShop Puerto Rico is marking its first year on the island by giving local consumers the ability to buy equipment and devices on credit, upon reaching an agreement with direct financing with GE Money, Mariemma Monroig, general manager of the retail chain said Friday.
The decision to extend credit in time for the Christmas shopping season is a direct result of the chain’s success at all of its local stores, including Caguas and Mayagüez, she noted.
“Normally, it would take about three years to be able to establish something like this, but given the response we’ve received here, we’re putting the final touches on what the program will be,” she said.
iShop entered the local market in October 2010, driven by parent company Motta Internacional, based in Panama. The iShop concept is operated under Motta’s retail division, which has opened similar stores in Colombia, she said.
It is the first time Motta has a business relationship with the Cupertino, CA-based electronics manufacturer.
For now, there will be no more iShops opening in Puerto Rico, because “given the economic conditions, we’re being careful and not expanding any further for now. However, we’re happy with the results we’ve achieved thus far and how we’ve been able to promote the brand throughout the island,” the executive said, noting iShop has created 70 jobs, including Apple technicians and customer service and sales representatives.
“Our mission is to offer all customers a memorable shopping experience. We have the most complete line of accessories to suit the preferences of our market and this company’s most important asset, which is unsurpassed service by our employees who are trained and certified by Apple. This has been the key to our success,” said Monroig.
The agreement with GE Money makes Apple’s full-line of Mac desktop and laptop computers iPads, iPods and accessories available, with the alternative of paying in installments.
An artsy celebration
To mark its milestone, iShop Puerto Rico is teaming up with Miami-based artist Stephen Gamson, who has designed a full line of covers for Apple iPads, iPhones and iPods featuring his trademark, colorful artwork.
“I’ve teamed up with Ultimate Armor to create a product to protect iPhones that incorporates my art,” said Gamson, who bases his work on what he calls “a vocabulary of symbols that will pass the test of time.”
It is the first time the highly commissioned commercial artist has worked with Apple, which he is adding to a long list of corporate and public entities for which he has designed pieces, including Café Bustelo, Epicure Gourmet Market, the Miami Beach Polo World Cup, Select Vodka, the City of Miami Beach, Brite Girl Magazine, Tampa Bay Luxury Guide and Caldwell Banker.
He is also the official artist of Lamborghini and in May 2009, was commissioned by Monaco’s Prince Albert to design a special piece presented at the 67th Monaco Grand Prix.