Kooyman Group opens Megastore
in Barbados

The Curaçao company Kooyman Group continues to spread its wings; this time not only outside the border of Curaçao but outside the Dutch Caribbean islands. After a thorough preparation the hardware and home improvement providers group, has decided to open a Megastore in Barbados.

Kooyman will build a Megastore with the ‘drive through’ concept in Barbados. The first was realized in Curaçao, followed by one of larger size in Aruba, while the youngest Megastore was opened last year in Curaçao, but on a different location to be able to serve the customers on that side of the island as well. In Barbados an establishment according to the existing concept, of the same set-up and dimensions as the Megastores in Curaçao and Aruba will be realized, with the well-known store and ‘drive thru’.
In an interview in a local newspaper the CEO Herbert van der Wouden, explained that the total investment including inventories and working capital amounts to approximately 40 million US dollars. The company recently received the building permit. The location is known and a preliminary purchase contract with the landowner has been signed. The site is about 32.000 square meters in an area called Kendal Hill in the South East of Barbados. This ‘overseas’ expansion of Kooyman, also brings additional jobs in Curaçao, namely about ten new workplaces that have already been partly fulfilled in anticipation of the opening on Barbados, according to Van der Woude who has been the CEO of the family business since 2007, and before that was the Financial Director since 1999.

In 1939 Adrianus (Ad) Kooyman laid the foundation of the company on Curaçao. In 1959 activities followed on Bonaire and in 1965 on Aruba. Bastiaan (Bas) Kooyman, his son, took over in 1968. Several acquisitions and openings followed. And in 2006 the branch on St. Maarten became a fact. Barbados in the easternmost part of the Caribbean, and 1.032 kilometers from Curaçao, will be the next step towards further expansion of the company that will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2019.

Kooyman Group sets the example for businesses that want to expand their possibilities in the wider Caribbean area. Several years after having introduced their Megastore concept, the company will open a branch with a similar concept in Barbados, its first outlet outside the Dutch Caribbean. Van de Woude and Juri Kooyman the Senior Manager of Operations are very positive about the new venture.

Expansion outside the Dutch Caribbean borders is necessary as the company has already reached its maximum market potential in Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire and St. Maarten. In 2014 the company took the decision to grow the company further and a thorough market research conducted with the cooperation of one of its main suppliers, directed the way to Barbados as the location with the best potential for Kooyman Group at this moment. “We were welcomed by the Barbadian relevant authorities and even had a meeting with the Prime Minister Mrs. Mia Motley” said Van der Woude during a meeting with representatives of the Foreign Trade Division of the Ministry of Economic Development. Juri Kooyman explains that they received a lot of cooperation in Barbados to get all the necessary permits. According to the plans, the groundbreaking will take place coming February. “Barbados is the first location in our growth strategy and will serve as a best practice. Based on the results, we will consider branching out to St. Thomas, St. Lucia and St. Vincent” says Kooyman. He adds that besides good knowledge of the Caribbean market, an Important aspect for successful Caribbean expansion for Curaçao businesses is the connectivity possibilities among the islands. “The Barbadian Megastore will be staffed with local personnel, but for certain management positions we will have to fly over continually, especially in the beginning”, declares Van der Woude.


The Kooyman Group CEO clearly sees a market for its Megastore concept in Barbados. “This can be considered export of services as we will not really export goods, with the exception of the Global Paint brand products”. This project will be financed by the Curaçao Maduro & Curiels Bank and is expected to stimulate more trade of Curaçao companies in the Caribbean islands. Internally the staff has been informed for some time. It has created a sense of pride among the employees and therefore extra motivation. The Curaçao hardware company has not yet communicated all the plans to the outside world in anticipation of the official groundbreaking in February 2019 when the news will be announced in Barbados. Kooyman is currently active on Curaçao, Aruba, Bonaire and St. Maarten. In total the company has six branches and more than 550 permanent employees. The office in Barbados will offer employment to estimated 100 full time employees, of which a number of key management officers will come from the existing organization in Curaçao. The Foreign Economic Cooperation Division of the Ministry of Economic Development applauds this initiative of the Kooyman group and sees this as a good example of the export of services and know-how of Curaçao companies.

In 1939 Adrianus (Ad) Kooyman laid the foundation of the company on Curaçao. In 1959 activities followed on Bonaire and in 1965 on Aruba. Bastiaan (Bas) Kooyman, his son, took over in 1968. Several acquisitions and openings followed. And in 2006 the branch on St. Maarten became a fact. Barbados in the easternmost part of the Caribbean, and 1.032 kilometers from Curaçao, will be the next step towards further expansion of the company that will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2019.
 

Download the Magazine

Curaçao, Willemstad

Tel:  +(5999) 462-1444

E-mail: info.meo@gobiernu.cw 

© 2018 - 2019 by Reach Curaçao.