MAY PEN, Clarendon — It wasn't the bumper crowd that most anticipated, but retailers in May Pen were nonetheless happy for the support from customers last Thursday night during the Jamaica Observer's Celebration of Fashion's Night Out.
They attributed the low turnout to the recent back-to-school shopping.
Most shoppers who turned out seemed to know exactly what they wanted, so they weren't interested in window-shopping and store hopping.
Maxie Department Store at Bargain Village on Main Street seemed the busiest. Shoppers were particularly keen on small appliances and electronics, household and back-to-school items.
"It has been excellent," Assistant Manager Patricia Garib told the Jamaica Observer Central. "We have 20 per cent [off] on most items, 50 per cent on selected items and the customers are really gravitating towards it. Blenders, irons and other household items are going fast."
Ping's Fabrics, also located on Main Street, was a big hit on the night as well. Customers were treated to a fashion show by local designer Latoya Thompson, but it was the "reasonable prices" on rugs and drapes that excited most customers.
"The prices are really good this year," said second-year FNO shopper Natalie Clarke. "So far I was able to get three big rugs for $1,500, and I'm hoping to get two of those nice pillows that I see over there."
"The prices are not bad at all," added Melissa Anderson. "Twenty per cent off is pretty good."
Furniture, appliance and electronics stores like Courts Jamaica and Lucky Dollar were also in full swing. Surprisingly, however, analog televisions were amongst the fastest-going items at Lucky Dollar, where shoppers were treated to live performances by Lenya Wilks of Rising Star fame and DJ Dilemma.
"We actually ran out of microwaves," said Michael Russell, manager of Lucky Dollar, May Pen. "Customers are also big on small analog televisions, even with everything going digital now. They weren't going for the LCDs, which is surprising to me because we have really good discounts on them, plus we are offering free gifts."
The trio of Whimpy's Couture, High Fashion Boutique and Precious Moments, located at Bargain Village Plaza, had mixed reactions to this year's FNO.
Precious Moments -- named after its owner-- offered up to 90 per cent off some items, and while High Fashion experienced a slow night, Whimpy's was abuzz with activity.
"Tonight actually looks slower than last year, but we had a big crowd last night (Wednesday) because our sale actually started from Monday," she said Precious Moments.
"Tonight is good, definitely good; just look at the crowd," said Novelette Lewis of Whimpy's Couture. "They really like the prices because we have blouse for $200, Guess jeans for $500 and $1,000."
"This is my third store for the night, but the only place where I actually see things that I want," added Michelle Lawson. "You get good quality at Whimpy's."
First-time FNO participant Avonell Sinclair, owner of Aleje Boutique on Fernleigh Avenue, was amongst the satisfied retailers. "This afternoon has been wonderful," she told the Observer Central. "This was our first time; we opened in May, just in time to catch this year's Fashion's Night Out, so we decided to give the customers some really good discounts."