Local business owners had mixed views of the 2018 Christmas sales. The Freeport News visited some of the popular shopping spots on Wednesday (January 2), where representatives shared how their respective businesses fared this past holiday season.
Store Manager of Bellevue Gifts, Theresa Tomlinson, located on Queens Highway expressed that sales for the holiday decreased considerably from the year before.
“Compared to last year’s figures, sales were down. I would say tremendously,” she said.
Tomlinson revealed that the store had a sale that ran into Christmas, however, the results were not as impactful as was expected.
She noted that despite the lackluster results, many of the store’s name brand toys sold well. “We sold quite a bit of our name brand toys like the Baby Alive and other name brand merchandise.”
She added that other best sellers included styling doll heads.
Tomlinson could not be certain if the lackluster sales were unique to Bellevue. “I don’t know if this was just unique to our store, where we experienced a downfall for Christmas.”
She admitted that the store did experience one or two seasons in 2018 that made decent sales, but overall business had decreased.
“I guess based on the economy, people (are) going abroad to shop, I guess it all contributed to that,” she said.
Tomlinson added that she hopes this year’s sales would be much better and that Grand Bahama’s economy hits a peak.
This daily also paid a visit to H&L School Supplies and Bookstore which is located in the Downtown, Freeport area.
Mary Thompson, the store’s Cashier Clerk revealed that sales for the Christmas season was “fine” and that there were no noticeable deceases or increases compared to the year before. “I’d say it was the same.”
She added that many customers purchased school supplies and technology based items and toys this past Christmas, however, that was not the most surprising sale.
“You know what was a shocking, it wasn’t quite the biggest seller but people were buying a lot of bibles,” she said.
Thompson noted that the season went smoothly.
“Everything went smooth and fine, no criminal activities and we had order which is a good thing,” she said.
Kelly Russell, the store’s Manager and Proprietor also spoke to this daily.
She admitted that sales began slowly during the 2018 Christmas season, but they did well overall.
“Overall we are grateful to our customers, we’ve been here for 10 years and I must say that the Freeport community really came out and they supported us and we are grateful that they continue to come out every year,” she said.
Another store that is frequented in Downtown, Freeport is LYS Sportswear. Store Manager Kaylen Stuart explained that although the store has been in business for about six years they have only been at that location for four, and the 2018 Christmas sales were lower than the year before.
“Christmas sales were okay, but compared to previous years they were lower,” he said.
Stuart added that the lower sale numbers may have been due to the many residents being unemployed and therefore, unable to shop.
Despite that, he revealed that the store, which primarily sells men’s apparel and shoes, did sell out various items like their stock of Vapormax sneakers.
Stuart shared that he hopes for better sales this year and looks forward to the business opportunities the new year will bring.