Stores all set for back to school rush
Major stores in Bridgetown are gearing up for the annual back to school rush expected to take place within the next few weeks.
With just a mere three weekends before the start of the 2014-2015 school term for primary and secondary schools, a Barbados TODAY team visited some of the City stores this morning.
The general feedback from managers and supervisors was that while welcome parents and guardians were trickling in seeking out purchases for their charges, the stores, all prepared, were awaiting the big rush they expected to start soon.
Veronica Nicholls, manager of the Back To School section of Cave Shepherd in Broad Street, said there was a constant flow of shoppers visiting, as they searched for and bought school items, particularly uniforms, a demand which the department had been able to meet. She added that from the time school closed in mid-July management had seen satisfying sales in that department and had been giving discounts on special items.
“Even during the Crop Over season it was really good. This is the ending of the month, which is usually back to school time, and it quite obvious that we are going to have an influx of customers. So we are really gearing up and we are trying to ensure that our customers are well attended,” she said.
John Holder at Brydens Bookstore in Victoria Street said that that location was currently out of stock of a number of textbooks. He explained that this year most customers had decided to shop very early.
And while the popular bookstore had rush-ordered some of those books, the supervisor indicated, there were others which would not be back on the shelves until next year.
“. . . But there is competition around; so there are still people out there who may have some [of the books]. And, our other branch as well will have some that we may not have here,” Holder said.
Over at Woolworth, managing director Martin Bryan said that, when compared to this same period last year, sales on school items were slightly down. However, he reported that within the past week the store had recorded a pickup in the school uniform department; and, with three more weekends to go before school reopened, Bryan was anticipating the big rush yet.
“Within the lasts two years, for sure, Barbadians have become a lot last-minute, because with the financial times, especially the monthly paid workers. They will get paid next week . . . . I think that they are trying to stretch the dollar as far as it can go. But at some point they still need to come and get their uniforms.
“But we are ready and we have everything for them. Whether it is uniforms, stationary, books, shoes or bags, we have everything.
“But we are preparing for that last-minute rush. We have a lot of our seasonal staff coming in full-time on weekends; and then from next week they will be here full-time right through. So, staffing-wise, we are ready; and, stock-wise, we are ready . . . ,” Bryan said.