Downtown Port of Spain was abuzz with activity yesterday as many people were out looking for deals a week before Christmas. Newsday visited several stores along Frederick and Queen Streets and while the side walks weren’t full of people, it seemed as if all available roadside parking spots had been taken.
One woman, who manages a phone accessories booth in Town Centre Mall, said as of early afternoon sales had been “smooth sailing.” Asked if Saturday had been the same or busier, she said, “Yesterday was actually quieter.” Over at Pennymed Pharmacy, located on the Frederick Street side of the same mall, remote controlled items were the big sellers.
Doing its best to attract potential shoppers, the pharmacy set up a display on the sidewalk. The young man in charge of that told Newsday, “Transformers cars for $245 and drones with cameras for $400 selling well. Last year they went faster but sales are good this year.” Three police officers attached to the Central Police Station, on patrol along Frederick Street yesterday afternoon, said the day had been quiet so far, with most queries from the public concerning the nearest parking lot.
Over at the Queen Street store of Nigel R Khan Bookseller, Newsday learned that while most customers came in to buy books, those that came looking for toys were more inclined to buy the higher end items.
“Sales have increased a bit compared to September but still relatively slow. Children’s story books, inspirational/motivational books and cookbooks are our top sellers. People who want toys are actually buying the more expensive things – remote controlled cars and a $400 princess set, which is a princess with a carriage attached to a horse with wings,” the book store’s’s manager said.
Christmas in TT is traditionally a time when people spruce up their homes, including buying new curtains and accessories. Based on the bustling activity inside Jimmy Aboud The Textile King (Aboud’s) on the corner of Queen and Henry Streets, it would be fair to think most people had come into town to shop at the legendary cloth store.
One manager said while “sales are down compared to last year, it’s been pretty busy today and we’re grateful for business. Yesterday and today have both been busy days.”
Another employee of Aboud’s, who sells curtains by the yard, said “curtains are selling very well.”
“It’s very busy! More than any other day since the month start, today has been the busiest,” the woman told Newsday before resuming her duties.
In start contrast, kitchen towel vendor Carol lamented the terrible sales she’s been experiencing this Christmas season.
Her trolley full of a variety of kitchen towels – from plush fabrics with designs to chequered pattern cotton – was parked right outside the Queen Street entrance of Aboud’s.
Unlike the brisk sales going on inside the store, Carol said she would have to “come out extra early and leave extra late”, especially on Christmas Eve weekend, to try making some decent sales this year.