Bajans flood City

No room to walk on Swan Street.

There is no place like Bridgetown for the holidays.

With just three shopping days left before Christmas day, thousands flocked to the nation’s capital today to get their last minute purchases in. Swan Street, Broad Street, High Street, Roebuck Street, Tudor Street, every “nook and cranny” were†congested with people.

Cheapside was particularly busy. The Cheapside Market however attracted only a moderate crowd as it appeared quite a few vendors preferred to line the sidewalk from the General Post Office to Old Town Hall with their trays, from which the did a brisk trade.

Green bananas, okras, broccoli, sweet potatoes, yam, pumpkins and a variety of other ground provisions and vegetables moved steadily from trays into customers’ bags. One of the vendors, Michelle said, with a smile, that sales were not to bad for now. She said people were mostly buying sweet peppers, cabbage and carrots from her tray.

Another vendor, who preferred to be anonymous, told Barbados TODAY that his sales were very good. He said he believed his vegetables were moving because the prices were “very good”. One of his big sellers was green peas, the non-national said, explaining that while his peas were imported from Mexico, Barbadians were still buying them up like “hot cakes”.

Delcina Bovell getting last-minute shopping done.

Produce was not all that buyers were searching for. They sought movies, music, toiletries, pillows, spices, floor covering such as “congolian” and rugs, even pet fish. The clothing stores were packed with shoppers, but many refuse to speak, opting to concentrate on searching rack after rack for the perfect outfit for Christmas morning in the Queen’s Park.

Trying to navigate through Cave Shepherd on Broad Street was not much easier. There was a sea of people there, locals and tourists alike; many packing the liquor and electronics departments.

Customer Service and Corporate Communications Manager, Mark Anthony Thornhill, described business as “moderate”.

“We have seen better times but we are grateful that we can keep our doors opened and maintain our level of staff … because that is important,” he added.

He noted that the physical traffic and sales only started to pick up this week but that mow “things look very promising”.

The opening hours of stores were extended earlier in the week and he said customers were utilising the extra time to purchase fragrances – the number one seller – as well as toys, jewellery, household accents, among other items.

Thornhill said that in terms of toys, over the years they recognised people were moving away from buying the traditional items and instead gravitating towards electronic devices that teach children to read, spell or do simply arithmetic.

Cave Shepherd is also encouraging people to read and introduced a buy-one-book, get-one-free promotion. (KC)

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