Port of Spain mayor Joel Martinez said both him and the council will meet with vendors this week to decide if vendors, particularly apple and grape vendors, could be accommodated in the capital for the holiday season.
He said in a telephone interview yesterday that, at the moment, there were no accommodations for them. “We have no accommodation for them at this time. We are meeting with some vendors next week. We will discuss it and so inform sometime after.”
Usually, at this time of the year, some vendors are seen occupying the site of what used to be Salvatori Building. However, no vendors were seen there yesterday and the area has been barred around for some time.
This comes even as some vendors and store owners describe this year’s holiday season as being the “deadest” yet. A number of stores and vendors were open for business yesterday but the foot traffic appeared to be minimal.
Some like Janelle Bruce, who sells clothing along Frederick Street, said this year’s sales have been very slow. She said to Newsday, yesterday, that in her ten years of selling clothing this is shaping out to be the slowest and “deadest” season yet. Everyone, Bruce said, was complaining. But Bruce hoped that the season would improve in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Similarly, workers at a low-cost clothing store on Frederick Street also said that this holiday season is very slow. The store, its workers said, opened yesterday to try and catch whatever little holiday shoppers there were. The lull in sales, the staff said, has run from Divali into the holiday shopping period but the staff too hoped it improved.
The store’s owner, who did not wish to state her name, described the holiday shopping as terrible and “very disappointing.” Although she said it would pick up, what she earns would not offset her cost and that she might possibly have to look at layoffs.
Workers at major appliance stores, also opened yesterday, described their sales as normal.
At textile store, Jimmy Aboud, corner Queen and Henry Streets, its manager, Mike Stephen, said while sales have been down it has improved.
When Newsday visited yesterday the store was full of shoppers. It appeared to be like any other business day. Stephen said the Christmas season represented a significant part of the total year’s sales. If he added, one did not make it for Christmas, one just would not make it. He, too, said that sales were down in comparison to previous years.
Tricia, a shopper in a verity store along Queen Street, summed up what many others expressed to Newsday, “Yes I am seeing a lot of nice things but, personally, there isn’t the money to buy things.” She said, however, she believed things would improve, possibly, the week before Christmas or the weekend before and, she added, knowing Trinis they would find the money wherever they could.