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Some businesses record mixed returns days before Christmas

Some businesses record mixed returns days before Christmas

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by Bria King Fri Dec 21, 2012

Some businesses in Kingstown said Wednesday that they were hoping that sales would increase – four shopping days before Christmas.{{more}}

The manager of Centrex told SEARCHLIGHT that sales were lower than in previous years.

“People are looking at their money,” he said. “The economy was not nice last year and they don’t know what it would be like next year.”

The manager, however, stated that he expected sales to increase on the weekend.

The general merchandise store has extended its shopping hours and the manager said that people were mostly buying household items and Christmas decorations.

He also said foreigners buy souvenirs to take back with them.

Lunetta Bailey, manager of The Modern Place, also hopes that sales will increase in the days before Christmas.

Sales this year, she said, have been average so far.

“We usually have a crowd, but this year people are window shopping,” she said.

Bailey said sales were much better last year than this year and cited several reasons for this.

“People have less disposable income this year,” the manager said.

She also said she believes many people are shopping online and, as a result, it digs into local sales.

Additionally, Bailey thinks there are very few remittances because of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated parts of the eastern seaboard of the United States in October.

And street vendor Diana Sam commented that sales over the past two years have been much better for her.

Sam said she has been a vendor for at least 15 years and this year is “real steep”.

“It need more jobs,” the vendor remarked. “Then money will be flowing… people only buy what they really need like sheet sets and foodstuff.”

The vendor, located in Middle Street, sells a wide variety of merchandise and said that she hopes sales will increase.

But, Alexis John, senior marketing manager of Courts said the store has been doing exceptionally well during the Christmas season.

John said the success is due to the business’ increased marketing efforts this year.

“Marketing efforts have been the key to make sure we have heavy traffic to our stores,” John said. “There has been a greater focus in our marketing efforts to ensure that our customers get the best deals.”

John explained that promotional campaigns had started in September and will run until the end of December.

He also indicated that customers patronize the “major whites”, such as stoves, washing machines and refrigerators more.

“These are everyday products persons tend to look for,” he said.

However, John indicated almost every product category has been doing well and said that Courts had “great gift ideas like a new laptop, new tablet”.

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