Juan Francisco Espana, EPA Director
EPA is a home center chain that operates in four countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Venezuela. Founded in 1992, EPA has more than 3,000 employees working at its 27 stores, whose average size is 7,000 sq. ft. Speaking from San Jose, Costa Rica, Juan Francisco Espana summarized operations in each country: store counts, number of transactions and consumer preferences, illustrated by photos of store locations.
- Venezuela’s economy is recovering and beginning to stabilize. EPA has 16 stores there in eight cities.
- Costa Rica has five stores and is responsible for nearly three million transactions. Consumers seek quality over price. EPA’s higher priced SKUs are successful here.
- Two stores are located in El Salvador, which bring more than one million transactions. The market is driven by promotions and an emphasis on low prices.
- Four stores in Guatemala were responsible for 1.2 million transactions. Consumers prefer good and better-quality goods.
EPA’s product mix focuses on construction, decorating and remodeling. Primary categories are paint, bathroom, construction, lighting and plumbing. Supporting categories include appliances, décor, garden, storage/organization and cleaning.
Products are sourced locally, and about half are imported—with about 60% of imports coming from China and 40% from the U.S.
Pricing is always competitive. EPA’s global purchasing staff of 10 buyers seeks successful vendor allies to provide products to four countries.
After his presentation, Espana answered questions from the audience about the market conditions in each country, consumer preferences, growth opportunities in key product categories and ecommerce increases.
For more information on the Global Forum presenters, contact Lori Szudarek, IHA senior manager, member, and international buyer relations, at +1.847.692.016 or email Lszudarek@housewares.org.