The sales were not exactly plentiful this Valentine’s Day but that didn’t dampen the smiles and laughter of Bridgetown businessmen.
The City was overflowing with love today as vendors, employees and visitors travelled through the island’s capital dressed in red. Around every corner, someone could be found with either a rose or a teddy bear at hand.
There were a number of vendors lining Swan Street offering bears, roses, chocolates, and perfumes for sale. One kiosk which attracted a buzz was Blessings Boutique which enjoyed a great response to his love-themed merchandise which went on sale on Tuesday. Customer service representative, Carolann Nurse told Barbados TODAY that teenagers and young adults were her primary customers.
“The kids really shop a lot,” said Nurse who added, “Christmas was really hectic this year but surprisingly for Valentines, people have really shopped.”
However, Lower Broad Street vendor, Sherry-Ann Greaves whistled a different tune. Greaves contended that the sales in Bridgetown have receded exponentially in comparison to previous years.
“Years ago you used to get a lot of sales but things have slowed down because of the economy, people are not spending like before,” said Greaves who acknowledged that most of the youth were purchasing gifts.
The devoted Christian said she used Valentine’s Day to spread messages of agape love – unconditional love for God.
“I usually use Valentine’s as a time to share the gospel and let people know that . . . God is love. . . and he is the one that loves them,” she continued.
The store manager of Tropicana Jewelers Swan Street, Dacia Moore reported “borderline good sales”. Moore expected a last minute rush as people window-shopped throughout the week.
“It is a little bit slow but we are hoping for the best. People are still coming in and buying gifts for their loved ones, kids for their mommies. We have also the wedding set rage, where we have people coming in and looking for engagement rings,” she explained.
“People may be coming in to look so they could come in and buy in the evening,” she said.
Bridgetown department store, Cave Shepherd had a steady flow of customers taking advantage of storewide sales. Customers were treated with discounts ranging from 15 to 50 per cent in selected departments. Corporate communications and customer service manager, Mark Anthony was on the ground floor spearheading the Spin The Wheel competition where customers who spent over $150 could win a prize; and Find Cupid where customers searched the store for specific products to win a gift.
Anthony told Barbados TODAY that the lead up to Valentine’s Day was lackluster, however, traffic picked up on the day.
“Today is looking a lot more like Valentine’s Day but we haven’t seen the usual traffic leading up to the event. I’m not sure if people are a little more cautious in spending but today it is feeling and sounding like Valentine’s Day,” he said.
Anthony also disclosed that consumers were taking advantage of the store’s delivery service which they started during the Christmas season.
“The surprise element continues to be a novelty and I think it works,” he added.
Meanwhile, some local hoteliers reported that they were in for a busy night with fully-booked restaurants for the special day. Sales and marketing director of Hilton Barbados, Trudy Jones revealed that bookings for their $222 event, Love Is In Bloom at The Grille Restaurant, were “pretty strong”. Jones said that the hotel saw a 60 per cent increase in comparison to 2018. Diners will be treated to a five-course dinner with live entertainment by jazz singer Leah Phillips.
Management at Savannah Beach Hotel also reported high numbers for their $280 four-course dinner which includes live entertainment.