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Sunday 26 January 2020
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Customers 'watching their pockets'

Vendors complain of slow Xmas sales

Jovani Briggs, front, Xaiya Roberts, centre, and Kiera Dick look at mats while shopping at at Mu'Mins in Lowlands on Monday. PHOTO BY DAVID REID  - DAVID REID
Jovani Briggs, front, Xaiya Roberts, centre, and Kiera Dick look at mats while shopping at at Mu'Mins in Lowlands on Monday. PHOTO BY DAVID REID - DAVID REID

Ven­dors are com­plain­ing about slow sales as this year’s holiday shopping season seems to be rough on the business community.

On Tuesday Newsday visited Scarborough, Lowlands Mall as well as several businesses in Crown Point, where the usual crowds would gather.

One businessman in Scarborough, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Newsday he was forced to re­duce prices in a bid to at­tract cus­tomers, but even that strat­e­gy did lit­tle to pull a crowd.

“Peo­ple have de­cid­ed on what they will and will not buy. So, what we’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing more of the last-minute rush for those items specifically; the mats, towels, etc,” he said.

Charmaine James, who had an ar­ray of kitchen tow­els on dis­play said she too has noticed that peo­ple were no longer buy­ing “be­cause it was Christ­mas” but more fo­cused on their ne­ces­si­ties.

“Right now, it’s com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent than how it used to be over the years. Peo­ple used to buy be­cause it is Christ­mas time but now every­body watch­ing their pock­ets,” James said.

Mat ven­dor, Sandra Thomas al­so com­plained of slow sales.

She said even though it was Christmas time, people were still not buy­ing com­pared to pre­vi­ous years.

At Stumpy’s Emporium in Canaan, the staff de­scribed sales as “steady” but like other ven­dors, they too com­plained that this year there’s a marked dif­fer­ence when compared to previous years.

A nearby fruit ven­dor echoed the same sen­ti­ment, adding that he hoped sales picked up later on Tuesday.

Mean­while, there’s a gen­er­al con­sen­sus at the Lowlands Mall that sales have been slow­er when com­pared to previous year, as it ap­peared to be a nor­mal shop­ping day.

The stores were open, ven­dors were sell­ing but shoppers were limited.

One shopper said she was discouraged by the lack of sale items.

“Businesspeople in Tobago ent giving nothing free. There are many nice things, but when you look at the prices… and most of the stores don’t even have sale,” she said, adding that few­er stores of­fered dis­counts this year.

“In Tobago, me ent see Christmas yet… the place live­ly, but I think the prices could be a lit­tle cheap­er, because them sale price is like not really any sale,” she said.

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