Last minute shoppers were out and about today hitting malls and shopping centers, many of which opened early to accommodate them.
With Christmas Day mere hours away, many crowded in stores and supermarkets to complete their shopping list.
In Bridgetown, Swan Street and Broad Street were flooded with last minute shoppers who were all in a hurry to get a bargain.
The furnishing and clothing stores reported relatively good sales for the Christmas season.
Managing Director of retail outlet Abed’s, Eddy Abed, noted that the season had a late start, primarily due to the 50th Anniversary Celebrations and shoppers procrastinating until the last two weeks before Christmas.
“The 50th anniversary sort of took some of the wind out of the sales of Christmas which historically starts from the middle of November. We find that it didn’t start as early as before,” said Abed.
Be he said the response has been overwhelming with many customers stopping in the stores this Christmas Eve to complete their shopping.
“I just didn’t anticipate that it was ever going to be like this . . . If you asked me three weeks before I would not have been able to guess this,” expressed Abed who is also the president of Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI).
He said that while he was unable to prove if business sales improved this year in comparison to figures from 2015, there were “a lot more sales in a lot less time”.
Tedroy Clarke, retail manager of the Bionic Man Shop told Barbados TODAY that the gents had reserved their outfits for Christmas in Queen’s Park and Old Year’s Night since the beginning of December.
However, the store has received an influx of customers within the last two days.
“It started to pick up for us throughout the day [Christmas Eve],” said Clarke.
Meanwhile, Nancy Noumeh, the owner of Sole Addiction was having an extremely busy Christmas Eve with many shoppers stopping in her Lower Broad Street store before closing time.
“We started off a little slow at the beginning of the month but it’s really picked up between yesterday and today,” she pointed out.
With Old Year’s shopping likely to begin following next Monday’s bank holiday, Noumeh shared that she expected things to get even better.
Meanwhile, the fish vendors of Cheapside Fish Market were elated this Christmas Eve. When the Barbados TODAY team arrived, the majority had sold out their stock of marlin, dolphin and swordfish.
Fish vendor for 27 years, Wendy Popo revealed that due to the scarcity of fish, especially “pound fish” this season, they were quickly selling out.
“The sales not too bad due to the fact that people want marlin, dolphin, swordfish – people mostly want big fish but the only thing we got right now is flying fish [which is in season],” said Popo.
The vendors in the rural city of Speightstown were hopeful for the day’s sales, as Christmas ignited some life in the town.
The majority of the shoppers were to be found in the chain supermarkets of Jordan’s and Eddie’s, while vegetable vendors such as Marcia Armstrong were grateful for the few customers they got.
“It’s enough to keep you satisfied,” she said about the quantity of shoppers which she and other roadside vendors received.
Another vendor, who requested anonymity, described the atmosphere as “kind of dead”. The vendor stated, “certain things would have been sold out already but I still have a lot”. She indicated that it was possible that shoppers in a last minute rush, were opting to buy the majority of their goods from one location, be it supermarkets or malls.
While Speightstown was relatively quiet, PRS Bakery was not. The smell of the freshly baked bread awaited the customers who were eagerly anticipating their pastries and cakes for tomorrow’s festivities. Supervisor, Ramona Roach told Barbados TODAY that the season has been good for the bakery and this was clearly evident by the throng inside. (KK)