With the Christmas shopping rush all but over, but with shopping for the New Year holiday still on, retailers in the north of the island are already beginning to tabulate their holiday intake.
For example, Breitling Store in Limegrove, Holetown is reporting excellent Christmas sales despite a slow start to December, its busiest month of the year.
“December is sometimes greater than we can do in an entire [year]. So as a business owner it’s kind of tricky for the first two weeks because you are not sure what’s going to happen, but it happens like crazy and every single day is busy. So as it stands right now we are coming down to the last few days in December and we have been doing very well,” Manager Roger Holder told Barbados TODAY.
However, Holder said while business had been good all year, sales were somewhat slower than last year, although he suggested shoppers were purchasing more expensive items this year.
In addition, he said, European shoppers, particularly the British, were spending less since the vote on June 23 for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.
“Compared to last year things are a little bit down in terms of the quantity in transactions, but in quality it is still about the same, so we are getting good quality which is still very high.
“This time with a lot of things going on in the UK like Brexit . . . some clients, especially Europeans, are a little bit reluctant because of Brexit. But our brand is still a bit competitive, so it gives them a sense of urgency as to buy here in Barbados as opposed to buying back home.”
The store manager added that business is expected to be brisk in January when high-end visitors check into nearby hotels.
Over in Speighstown, #1 Beauty Exchange also recorded increased sales in the week or so leading up to Christmas after a slow start.
Location Manager Faye Maxwell said the top-selling items were women’s products such as hair and makeup.
However, Maxwell suggested that increased passenger traffic into the northern town would boost sales for the businesses there.
The electronics and furniture retailer Courts also reported a hectic week before Christmas, with a surge in last-minute activity.
“As you know Barbadians are last-minute people,” Branch Manager Mayleen Sargeant told Barbados TODAY, adding that electronic gadgets, television sets and tablets were the items of choice for shoppers.
She also said even with Christmas over, patrons were still doing holiday shopping.
Meanwhile, Street Vendor Tamesha Garnes who sells vegetables and fruits also said business was good for the holidays, particularly on Christmas Eve.