VOX POP - Christmas shopping period
With just a week to go before Christmas Day the Observer West yesterday sought the views of several business persons across western Jamaica to find out about their preparations and expectations for the usually busy shopping period.
Here are some of the responses:
President of the Trelawny Chamber of Commerce
"With the opening of the Royalton White Sands Hotel and the increased traffic on the cruise shipping pier, there will be money in people's pocket to conduct some business."
Director Fontana Pharmacy
"We are well prepared. Our stores are well stocked and we have a wide selection of merchandise, probably the widest in a long time. We are hopeful that it (the Christmas season) will be a very good time."
President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry
" From the point of view of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce our members are already reporting what appears to be good sales and they are in fact well stocked up with the goods and services that are required.
The businesses have stocked up on their goods early and based on that the goods are not coming in at the last minute and they are being offered at reasonable prices. And we expect very good sales.
Managing director Lloyds Department Store
"We are well prepared. We are nicely stocked, more than any other year, but so far the business is just not there. Sales are very sluggish and we don't see it picking up significantly over the new few days. The disposable income is just not there, and a number of companies this year are paying small bonuses, if any at all."
Proprietor A & W Green Grocery in Lucea
"As far as I can see right now, no form of Christmas is in the air. Things are just the same, but further down things might pick up. You don't see any work going on so that the people could achieve some money. And as you know, money answers all things."
Proprietor of Hair and Variety Accessory Store in Lucea
"It's early, so I believe that something will work out. This is my second Christmas in business and last year was better. Sometimes you don't know what the people want, but we will just have to try to have the things they want."
President Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce and Industry
"There is no increase in activity that is consistent with other years. But we expect that over the next few days there will be an increase in sales, bearing in mind that the sugar crop has started at Frome and that a lot of persons will be getting paid later this week. But, it certainly won't be a boom in business because the economy is really tight."