Store owners remain optimistic as the 2022 back-to-school shopping season appears to be off to a promising start.
When a team from Barbados TODAY visited Bridgetown on Monday, scores of shoppers were making their way from store to store, picking up much needed items in time for the new school term which starts September 19.
According to Managing Director of Woolworth, Martin Bryan, shopping for school after Crop Over was initially slow, but sales have been steadily picking up in preparation for the first full school year opening since the pandemic started in 2020.
“Historically, once the results are out, the eager-beaver first form parents would come and get uniforms etc. We saw that happening from the time the results were announced last week. We’ve had a steady flow since then and every week it will get busier and busier leading up to the 19th of September, so we are pretty much ready,” he explained.
Though sales have been going well, Bryan revealed that logistical issues with shipping were still a concern for retailers who are still waiting on products that were ordered months in advance.
“Yes we have had some logistical issues. Some items we have not got as yet, like some sizes in school clothes and some colours. The majority of stuff we do have but we’ve had some challenges for sure in terms of getting everything we ordered; even though we ordered last November. Up to now, we still have not got some of the items and this is beyond our control.
“But I think by the end of the month, we should have everything in stock.”
Meanwhile at Abed’s, store manager for the Bridgetown branch, Suzette Layne, said that the store was hoping for much improved sales over the 2021 period, given that students are expected to return in full to the classroom and parents expected to increase their spending in buying additional items.
“Most schools will be open five days a week. I know there are some schools that have not gotten back to full time teaching, but a majority of the secondary and primary schools are back to five days a week. So we should be expecting and seeing a greater uptake in sales.
“They were not going school regularly, so most parents were falling back on what the kids had. Right now as you can see, the traffic is mainly in the ready-made area which carry the shirts and pants and stuff like that. But the fabrics are also moving because a lot of people still need to have stuff done by the seamstresses.”