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Oct 10, 2018

Mirab Opens Its New Mega Department Store

Mirab has a new department store and today it opened for business, offering a high-end shopping experience. The Mirab store relocated from the Fort Street area to the Philip Goldson Highway where its one hundred thousand plus square foot store boasts a number of new additions to its product lines and departments, including the Ashley Furniture Home Store. Mirab says that to accommodate more customers and make the shopping experience comfortable and easy, they have also introduced several features for shoppers to take advantage of. Reporter Andrea Polanco attended today’s opening and tells us more about the impact of the new store.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Today, Mirab opened the doors of its new department store on the Philip Goldson Highway. After about three years of construction, employees welcomed customers for the first day of business inside the newly constructed, multi-level store. Mirab and Company aims to offer an enhanced shopping experience now that they have expanded their operations.  And the experience starts from outside – a big parking lot, bike racks, a bus stop – are just some of the features to accommodate shoppers.  Today they lined up to get first look and cashed in on opening day deals at the new store.


Morris Dena

Morris Dena, Customer, Mirab

“Well, we are here today to see the new Mirab that is open and see what it is all about. Just to see everything, products and everything.”


Andrea Polanco

“How you like the experience?”


Morris Dena

“Very nice. Everything is nice and beautiful.”


Andrea Polanco

“Tell me how you like the new Mirab store?”


Barbara Peyrefitte

Barbara Peyrefitte, Customer, Mirab

“Beautiful. When I come here, I say, ‘My God, it is beautiful.’ I don’t have to go to the states. I am already in the states.”


Andrea Polanco

“Anything specifically you looking for today?”


Barbara Peyrefitte

“Well, I am looking for some mats, floor mats. That is what I am looking for right now.”


Andrea Polanco

“So, you definitely coming back here?”


Barbara Peyrefitte

“Definitely coming back here.”


And one of the benefits of this new store is that shoppers can now get just about everything they need– without having to travel across the borders or buy online – keeping the dollars at home: But will consumers have to absorb some of the cost of this investment in the price of goods?


Dionne Chamberlain

Dionne Chamberlain, PR, Mirab & Co.

“We do not see that they will be feeling any pinch. Because if you comparatively look at some of our prices, and I will give you one that I was looking at recently. I was looking for pillows and we use the pillows that are tagged by Ross, for instance in the U.S. It is tagged eighteen dollars US for the pillow. We didn’t take off the Ross logo because it is the same packer that does it for Belize and because we sell it for thirty belize dollars; which is three dollars U.S less and that is without the shipping, the duty and the transportation and a big bulky pillow. And you can find this through-out the store in quality merchandise. What we have done, however, we have also added in some new higher end because we realize that some people may want added – like Nicole Miller and Pioneer Woman and that sort of thing.  Everybody can get a gift in here starting at say three dollars all the way up depending on what it is that you want to provide.”


This is arguably the largest commercial investment of its kind in Belize. And while it offers a different level of shopping experience for the customers and a comfortable work environment for the employees, from construction to retail the impact of this multi-million dollar venture is felt through the jobs it provides and other economic opportunities for locals.


Dionne Chamberlain

“Quite a bit of employment has been created. Our staff has pretty much doubled or tripled during the construction phase because I am sure you can tell on a massive perspective this took in electricians, plumbers, engineers, gardeners and everything to create it. And so yes, for the mere space of it, we are opening an entire Ashley store in November and that takes on a whole new level of staffing. We now have credit on credit which is offering financing; we are doing lay-ways. We have really grown staffing. We do have three opportunities available for if a restaurant wants to open up for whatever business in the front for rental space. So, people are welcome to come in and take a look at those and rent those. There are other opportunities for sales. And again, this keeps the money at home. We customs, we pay G.S.T. We are a fully Belizean company, having Belizean staff, paying all Belizean taxes and conforming to all Belizean laws. So, at the very end of it, I believe it is not only for the customer to have a great spot but also for Belize to ensure that yes, money does stay at home.”


The store features a number of new lines including goods for the tourism industry; and the usual clothing and footwear; home goods; toys and other expanded departments. The Ashley Furniture Store is to be opened in a few weeks. In total the company has about eighty employees, most of whom you are guaranteed to meet at this new store, including these two friendly faces.


Sheena Thomas

Sheena Thomas, Sales Consultant, Mirab

“It is total excitement. I mean we have been working long hours. We have been here sometimes working eleven, twelve at night. So, it is totally exciting to see the customers faces as they walk in, light up – wow. We feel like that every day, preparing this for you guys to come home. It is an experience in itself.”


Khyla Banner

Khyla Banner, Customer Service Rep, Mirab

“Our biggest reward this morning was seeing our customers’ faces. So, when they walked in and we saw how excited they were, that was our biggest reward because we know that this store was a gift to them.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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