MANDEVILLE, Manchester — The extended opening hours of business places here last Thursday brought about by the Jamaica Observer's celebration of Fashion's Night Out (FNO) resulted in more than the usual buzz of activity in the streets and in the stores on a week night.
Despite a few drawbacks, a majority of the participating stores expressed satisfaction with the event.
Stephen Whitely, manager at OMG Restaurant and Coffee Bar, said that an event like FNO which increased the number of persons on the streets "impacts the whole dynamics of the town" and different types of businesses benefit.
OMG dubbed its involvement in the annual event "Absolut Fashion" and three types of drink cocktails were being offered on special.
Sally Barker, who was with a group of four persons there, said that she liked the two-for-one special on cocktails that was available.
"Big up to the selector," said Javed Outar in a comment to the Jamaica Observer Central when the group was asked about how they felt about the Live DJ which was a part of the offering at the Brumalia Road establishment.
Sueyen Lee Tom, manager for Pings Fabrics on Ward Avenue, enhanced what her store had to offer by staging a fashion show highlighting clothing made with material from her company. The show was used to start off the night's activities which she is anxious to be a part of again.
"It was fabulous. I am really looking forward to next year," she told the Observer Central.
Taking advantage of the 20 per cent discount and buy-one-get-one free offering, she said that customers bought a number of items including "a lot" of uniform fabric.
Leonie Wright of Fashion Village located at Super Plus Centre said that the older stock had discounts of up to 80 per cent and the newer ones were discounted 10-15 per cent.
She said that overall it was a good turnout. However, she suggested that for next year some consideration could be given to changing the date so that the event does not fall within the same week that school re-opens.
"Even a week's break (would be good)," she said.
From Wright's experience, she said some customers would have been able to purchase more of the variety of formal and casual clothing and accessories available if they were not still attending to back-to-school obligations.
She also added that if stores in a particular area are participating and it is not advertised in the Observer or in the electronic media "it does not make any sense".
The Fashion Village proprietor, who also has a store in Junction, made the decision to close the store at that location. The staff there worked at the two stores in Mandeville for the night.
At Baby Essentials at Mandeville Plaza and Tuscany Boutique on Ward Avenue, the two business women claimed success.
Tamicka Williams at Sinclair's Bargain Centre gave thanks for the level of support this year. She admitted that the last time that they were a part of the event they had to close their doors early because shopping was slow.
The Bashco Trading Company representative on Manchester Road, Maurice Comrie, said that they slashed prices on selected items of furniture, appliances and other goods.
Some participants went beyond the 10:00 pm cut-off time and others said that they would be offering discounts at least for the following two days.
Assistant Commissioner of Police for Area Three Derrick Cochrane reported that there was "massive police presence" in Mandeville, both covertly and overtly, for FNO.
"Within the commercial district it was incident-free," he said.