Front Page
December 23, 2009
Some businesses cry out, others happy with sales

Several business places in Kingstown are feeling the harsh hand of the economic crisis this Christmas season, with complaints that sales are down.{{more}}

Searchlight ventured into Kingstown on Monday, December 21, just a few days before Christmas. At around ten o’clock in the morning, the streets were already filled with eager shoppers making their way through the stores.

However, inside the stores, managers told a different story. “People are hesitant to buy. Their spending power is reduced,” one store clerk said.

Other businesses in Kingstown made similar comments, some of them stating that their sales have fallen in comparison with last year. “It’s not as we hoped it would be,” Manager of the Twin City Store #1 said. She added that compared to the last two or three years, sales are down. This year, she added, all the items in store were placed on sale. “Last year it was bad, but not this bad.”

Manager of the Family Store in Middle Street estimated that on average, sales are 40 per cent less than they were last year. “People don’t have enough money to spend,” he concluded.

The manager of the Modern Place also had a dismal report of sales. Lunetta Bailey told Searchlight that business has been slow, and she holds the global economic crisis responsible. This, she said, has affected persons’ ability to spend.

“It hasn’t been Christmas yet!” the busy manager of Bonadie Supermarket #2 said when Searchlight visited the crammed business place. Webster Crichton stated that “things have been slow” for this Christmas. Crichton also attributed the slow returns to the state of the economy.

However, not all businesses appear to be suffering. Furniture and appliance giant Courts has seen a general increase in their sales for December, compared with the last few months. Senior Operation Manager Elwyn Phillips told SEARCHLIGHT that the traffic in store has increased, thereby increasing sales.

He added that Courts’ heavy sales promotions played a part in the sales figures. “If we don’t do heavy promotion, we don’t see heavy sales,” he said. He, however, said that the sales figures are about the same compared to last year, and last year, the months close to December saw increased sales over this year.

“I think they have forgotten the word recession,” Leonora De Freitas said about the E.D. Layne and Sons Department Store shoppers. De Freitas, the Co-manager, said that sales have been going well and that persons have been enjoying shopping at their store.

Other businesses like Toni Store in Middle Street, said that business was “OK” for the season.

All the businesses, however, were hoping that business will improve for the rest of the season. “Hopefully we will end the Christmas on a high,” Phillips said.