International retailer, Cariloha, opened in the cruise ship port of Belize City this week, selling exclusively clothing, bedding and bath goods made from bamboo.
BELIZE – Cariloha announced the opening of its first store this week in Belize in the primary cruise ship terminal in Belize City. The new store is approximately 550 square feet and is the only retail store in Belize selling exclusively clothing, bedding, accessories and bath goods that are made from eco-friendly bamboo. The Cariloha store is located next door to sister brand, Del Sol, which is a separate retailer selling clothing and accessories that change colors with sunlight.
Cariloha has been rapidly expanding its international and domestic presence for the past five years now with 10 corporately owned and 30 independently owned stores in 12 countries. Cariloha stores are found in Mexico, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Barbados, Aruba, Curacao, Honduras, St. Maarten, Bahamas, Antigua, Bonaire and various cities throughout the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii.
Additional Cariloha store openings are planned in 2014 in Washington D.C., Orlando’s International Airport, Kauai, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and many more. The independently owned stores will be operated by licensed, contracted partners of Cariloha, LLC.
Cariloha Belize store owner, Francisco Morales, who also owns Cariloha stores in Antigua, Roatan and Grand Turk, resides in Cozumel, Mexico. He became aware of this retail space through Cariloha’s regional sales director, Tyler Rhodes, and saw opportunity for growth and profitability. Belize was also a good fit for Morales because of his proximity to the location – it’s the closest Cariloha store he owns in relation to where he lives.
“Belize is becoming even more popular as a growing cruise ship port with increasing ship visits,” said Morales. “We saw the chance to move into an A+ location instead of a B- location, and we took it.” With 15 local employees working in his Morales’ stores in the cruise terminal, he looks forward to building a strong sales force and hopefully developing them into future leaders.
Belize City is a good central location for many tours. The most popular tour is cave tubing, but snorkeling, diving, and exploring Mayan ruins are also highlights. Because of the reefs and shallow water surrounding Belize City, all cruise guests must tender into the port while their cruise ship remains anchored out at sea. The vast majority of these tenders drop off the guests at the pier located directly in front of the Cariloha store.
All Cariloha guests receive a free bamboo lei (necklace) just for stopping by the store, which helps proliferate the bamboo, eco-friendly attitude even more. Cariloha staffers encourage visitors to touch and feel the bamboo-soft difference of their shirts, bed sheets, towels, and hand bags for themselves.
Bamboo apparel contains several qualities that are much better than other fabrics. Bamboo is twice as soft to the touch as cotton; it keeps you up to 3 degrees cooler than cotton; bamboo is naturally antibacterial, hypoallergenic and repels odor, which comes in really handy on a hot day.
“When you think of bamboo, large green shoots in the jungle somewhere likely come to mind,” said Jeff Pedersen, Cariloha President and CEO. “Not many people know that bamboo can actually be husked and separated into ultra‐soft fabric for making apparel and other goods at little‐to‐no risk on the environment. In fact, some species of bamboo can grow up to 4 feet per day. It’s one of the most renewable resources on the planet.”
Established in 2007, Cariloha is the only retailer in the world to provide an entire store experience that’s completely outfit with merchandise made of bamboo. The product line features an exclusive collection of apparel, accessories, bedding and bath goods and more all made from bamboo. Cariloha’s soft, breezy bamboo goods were first sold in three, full stores in Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Cozumel, Mexico; and St. Thomas, USVI. Since the first three stores in 2008, Cariloha has already opened stores in 12 countries and continues to grow. Cariloha has quickly become one of the fastest-growing merchants promoted on board Carnival, Celebrity, Disney, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines. Today, thanks to an ever‐growing, rich supply of bamboo, Cariloha continues to offer an exclusive collection of products, all enjoying the strength, soft touch, and green ‘footprint’ of this renewable resource.
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