By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
RETAILERS are gearing up to take advantage of the late renewal of the Value Added Tax (VAT) holiday for school supplies.
James Wallace, owner/operator of Janaees Uniform Centre, told Tribune Business this VAT Holiday will be good for the consumer because they could use that 10 percent to spend on other items in the store, particularly if they are shopping for more than one child.
Mr Wallace said: “Along with their uniforms they can buy some socks and so it does have its benefits to them, but for us I’m not sure that it makes a difference.
“The only difference that it makes to us is that we have been observing the back to school and we have seen a decline in the customer base. So that tells us that people are waiting for it to kick in.”
The Department of Inland Revenue sent out a notice that there will be a VAT Holiday for back to school shopping starting from this August 15 to September 6. All school supplies will be VAT free.
Mr Wallace said: “The time frame is cool. That’s a very long time. Typically, Bahamians are last minute shoppers so they will come in to take advantage of it. Unfortunately in some cases we have actually exhausted our capacity to produce garments before school opens. So the delivery date is post September now for people that want to participate. So you will have those people who are last minute who will expect for you to perform a miracle for them.”
While there is a slight rush in the run up to the opening of the school year, it is nowhere near what was seen in the pre-pandemic years before 2020. “The level of business activity is just not there,” he said.
Uhura Woodside, manager at Nassau Stationers, added: “People for the most part are last minute shoppers, so this will help them. For example the parents for students at Nassau Christian Academy have already shopped because their school opens up on Monday, so they will miss this. But for others they take that opportunity to do what they need to do.”
This VAT holiday is expected to drive more sales for books and other stationery, especially for people with more than one child. “They will say let me get it now rather than ask for a discount later on,” Ms Woodside remarked.