MONTEGO BAY, St James — SCORES of retailers participating in the Jamaica Observer's celebration of Fashion's Night Out (FNO) across western Jamaica tonight are excited about the initiative, which they believe will be beneficial to both retailers and shoppers.
"Fashion's Night Out is a very good thing. I haven't seen anyone do anything like this for business people in Jamaica in a long time. It's really a very good initiative," said Patrick Campbell, managing director for Sinclair's Bargain Centre on Great George Street, Savanna-la-Mar.
"We will be selling items at 50 per cent off storewide. Items such as shoes, ladies wear, clothes, fabric, and haberdashery."
When asked about his experience last year, Campbell said that he was not "fully prepared", be stressed that he is looking forward to a better experience this time around.
Ann-Marie Cadogan, proprietor of Elegance Boutique, located in the spacious Whitter Village in Ironshore, told the Observer West that both customers and business owners share in the excitement, as it relates to Fashion's Night Out.
"I think customers look out for FNO and it's an exciting time for them and as business owners we are also very happy too, because we see a little boost in business," said an elated Cadogan.
"We will be offering discounts from 10 to 70 per cent. Some dresses will be on sale for between 35 and 50 per cent less than the regular price, as well as jewellery, handbags..." she explained.
Yesterday Cadogan expressed confidence that sales will increase this year based on the enthusiasm of customers.
"Last year we got some business and we are looking forward to even a bigger turnout and increased sales this year," said Cadogan, as she encouraged customers to come out and cash in on the bargains.
Participating stores in the Jamaica Observer's Celebration of Fashion's Night Out which was held in the resort city of Montego Bay for the second time last year, reported excellent business during the five-hour long event.
Last year businesses in the seaside town of Savanna-La-Mar were given the opportunity to participate.
Owner of Conrad's Unique Fashion in the Westmoreland capital, Conrad Gordon, told the Observer West that for him Fashion's Night Out last year was a huge success.
"I am excited about FNO because last year was a productive one for me and I am hopeful that this year will be no different," said a confident Gordon.
"We will be offering discounts on selected items from between 10 and 50 per cent," he emphasised.
Meanwhile, Mahek Chatani, the proprietor of MoBay Chocolate Company located in the Fairview Shopping Centre — who is participating in FNO for the first time — said she too is anticipating increased business during the hours designated for the shopping spree.
"I am looking forward to it. This will be my first year am I am very excited. We will be offering 20 per cent discounts on what we call our 'Chocolate Fashion' items," she said.
And Gail Lue Sang, proprietor of Lacy, a lingerie store in the Fairview Shopping Centre, is offering attractive discounts on old and new stocks.
According to Staysie Spence of Staysie's Boutique, now located in the Fairview Town Centre,"excitement and nervousness" comes to mind when she thinks about this year's staging of the Jamaica Observer's celebration of Fashion's Night Out.
"I am excited and nervous because I am at a different location where the crowd will be stronger versus when I was at Half Moon last year. There will be definitely a bit more traffic but nevertheless, I am excited about it," she said.
"We'll be doing 15 to 40 per cent off selected items. Cafe Blue is on board with the launch of their new 'bluetini,' which should be fabulous and Caribbean Producers Jamaica (CPJ) will be serving up top notch liquors. Also, the Napoli Italian Restaurant will be serving finger foods and we will have a backdrop for persons to take photos.. so it will be a fun night," she explained.
And Hope Sterling, the owner of Fashion Hut located on Market Street in Montego Bay is also looking forward to FNO, having participated in the event since it was introduced in that resort city.
"This year we are going all out. We will be selling high-quality shoes such as Nine West, Clarks, American, Eagle... and what we have proposed to do is to offer the 'buy one get half off deal," she pointed out. "We are going to have 50 per cent off on selected items and a lot of give-aways."
Meanwhile, the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry has thrown its full support behind the Jamaica Observer's celebration of Fashion's Night Out.
"It is good for the local economy and a great initiative, one that has always been supported by the chamber because it is a great stimulus that we need especially in early September, back-to-school season. We embrace it and encourage all our business owners in Montego Bay to definitely come out, spend some money and get some discounts," he urged.
He stressed that the initiative does help to give the economy a boost.
"Business owners are always very happy for the Jamaica Observer's celebration of Fashion's Night Out because normally this time of year we don't see much people spending and so they see great improvement in their sales," said Crump.