Old Year’s fret
party organizers happy but store owners blue vex
Come tomorrow night, thousands of Barbadians will be shelling out a little bit more for the opportunity to ring in the New Year in style.
However, some storeowners in Bridgetown might not be able to take advantage of the mad last-minute rush expected from those persons looking to be outfitted for the special occasion.
One upset apparel storeowner complained bitterly to Barbados TODAY this evening that goods imported by a number of store operators specifically for Old Year’s Night have been “piling up” at the lockers used by the Customs & Excise Department at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) since last Friday.
She said they had been informed by Customs officials that the truck used to transport the items to the nearby Queen’s Warehouse for clearance had been involved in an accident and was out of operation.
The storeowner, who spoke under condition of anonymity due to fear of victimization, said she was concerned because, “if we don’t get this stuff that we just invest in sold between Monday and tomorrow the goose cook”.
She could not immediately say how many store operators were affected.
“What normally happens is that when the stuff reaches the airport we get a paper with a number on in. They put the number in the system so that we can go to the broker and have the relevant papers drawn up so
we can go back to their office and pay the duties. That has not been done since any
stock came in from last weekend,” she complained.
“It is at the airport in the lockers where they would normally keep them and then take them down to the Queen’s Warehouse on the next day. But they have been mounting up and mounting up since Friday last week and today is Wednesday and no one has released the stuff.”
Speaking on behalf of other storeowners, the businesswoman said they were upset because they had reinvested the monies made from Christmas sales in order to get the stock in time for Old Year’s celebrations.
“Tomorrow is Old Year’s and we have a lot of dresses, shoes and all kinds of things that people will need. And when January hit no one will buy them,” she complained.
“January and February are two dry months,” she said, adding that rent was also high and staff had to be paid.
Their frustration is understandable, especially considering that some Old Year’s Night events priced at up to $700 per person have already sold out or are close to being fully booked.
The Cliff Beach Club’s New Year’s Eve Dinner Party, Hilton Barbados Resort’s Spellbound and Elevate: Suit and Tie are three events close to being sold out.
Retail manager at the Cliff Beach Club Megan Beck told Barbados TODAY people had been responding well to their $700 package, which includes a five-course meal.
She said there were only a few more
“We are catering to everyone and we are close to being sold out,” Beck revealed.
Over at the Hilton Barbados Resort, guests and other patrons will be paying $275 for their all-inclusive beach party, Spellbound.
Senior Sales Manager Tracy Jones said the response had been good for the event, now in its second year.
“We have had a positive response thus far. We have seen a great pick up in bookings. But I have seen some parties this year that are noticeably higher,” she admitted.
Mario Greene, one of the promoters of Elevate: Suit and Tie said they always offered value for money at their events. For this Old Year’s Night event, ladies will pay $180 while males will pay $200.
“We identify what the consumer wants and maximize on that. We try to make our patrons as comfortable and as happy as possible,” he said.
With just a few tickets remaining, Greene told Barbados TODAY that he expected all tickets for the events to be gone by tomorrow.
However, he did admit that around this time the cost of everything “seemed to