By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
A food store manager believes increased turkey prices are turning consumers off from Thanksgiving shopping.
Bradley Rolle, Centreville Food Market’s general manager, told Tribune Business that shoppers have not been spending as much as they typically do in the lead-up to the Thanksgiving holiday and this year is “off”.
“We have some ham and turkey in, but the price of turkey nowadays is higher and we really don’t have anybody coming in now asking for them, so that means that Thanksgiving is not happening,” he said.
Bahamians have increasingly celebrated Thanksgiving despite it being an American tradition. Yet there has been no noticeable spike in Thanksgiving Day spending this year. “The prices are putting people off for sure,” said Mr Rolle.
“The average butterball turkey costs about $40; last year, it was $32.” This 25 percent increase is seemingly just enough to put a damper on Thanksgiving Day spending. “Nobody is coming in like that. We just have regular customers. This Thanksgiving is off for us; it never used to be this slow before Thanksgiving Day,” Mr Rolle added.
Food price increases have been looming since summer due to the shipping and logistics backlogs that have been made worse by the labour shortage in slaughterhouses across the US. Leading wholesalers and retailers have warned that Bahamians should brace for a more expensive Christmas.
Harry Bunch, Phoenix Supermarket’s general manager, added: “Sales are picking up. I don’t know if this is about Thanksgiving Day, but things are picking up.”
Despite not having any turkeys or hams, Mr Bunch said he had heard from other stores that the price of turkeys and hams was putting consumers off but he does not have that problem in his store. “Sales are just steady with us,” he added.