Retailers target 'exciting' Xmas

By NATARIO McKENZIE Tribune Business Reporter nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net BAHAMIAN retailers told Tribune Business yesterday that they expect an 'exciting Christmas', with customer traffic expected to increase substantially in the coming days. The Christmas season is the prime season for many retailers hoping to capitalise on the consumer rush leading up to the holiday. Marlon Johnson, the Bahamas Telecommunications Company's (BTC) spokesperson, told Tribune Business: "We have a very ambitious Christmas agenda. One of the reasons we wanted to get the 4G network substantially in place, at least in two of the larger islands of the Bahamas in time for Christmas, is because we recognise that the Christmas season is the premier retail season." Mr Johnson said BTC's new flagship store at the Mall at Marathon has been generating significant interest. "There was a line at the front of the new store. What we are sensing is there is great demand for the 4G product, and so we expect a really exciting Christmas," he added. Inga Bowleg, John Bull's director of business development, told Tribune Business: "None of us, of course, have a crystal ball to truly speak with certainty as to what the season will bring in terms of sales, but at John Bull we can definitely say that if the response we received to last Saturday's Christmas launch on Bay Street was an indication of what we should expect, then we anticipate a successful season." She added: "As is the norm; many of our brands launch new collections just in time for the holiday, and this year is no exception. In addition to featuring endless gift-giving ideas, John Bull's 'Unwrap the Magic' Christmas promotion is offering shoppers the opportunity to win one of 24 fabulous gifts valued at over $35,000; with one drawing each day from December 1 to 24." Charmaine Daley, sales manager at John's department store on Carmichael Road, told Tribune Business yesterday that the store, which is specialising in boots this holiday season, had seen a significant uptake in customer traffic since last weekend. "Christmas is our busiest time of the year, when we have a lot persons purchasing gifts for loved ones. Saturday past we had an anticipated crowd, so it started to pick up from then, but we are expecting a lot more traffic this weekend and next week," she added. Deron Wong, manager at Bookworld and Stationers on Mackey Street, told Tribune Business: "Sales so far have been about the same as last year; maybe they have picked up a little bit. We have our office furniture that has been bringing in good revenue because it's at US prices. "We have a brand that is new to the market, it's our supplier's brand, and it's been pretty successful for us. We have been pushing the brand for the past few years but it's really taken off." He added: "We have a large inventory and our pricing is good, so our sales haven't suffered. Instead of taking a nosedive we have been maintaining the same level, and hopefully will do better. For Christmas we always have our sales on. Our card selections and our gift wrapping have increased, and hopefully the customers will notice. We are not in the Mall, and so people who don't want the hassle of going there come here."


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