MONTEGO BAY, St James — Retailers and shoppers in the parishes of Westmoreland and St James who participated in the Jamaica Observer's Celebration of Fashion's Night Out (FNO) on Thursday, have hailed the initiative as "another success".
Heavy shopping was observed throughout Savanna-la-Mar and Montego Bay, as bargain seekers jam-packed stores in a bid to cash in on discounted items.
Shoppers were still spotted at some stores after 10:00pm in the Westmoreland capital, which was transformed into a shopping district.
Not surprisingly, there was hardly walking space in Sinclair's Bargain Centre on Great George Street, where prices were slashed by 50 per cent.
The branch manager, Patrick CampbelI lauded the Jamaica Observer for initiating FNO.
"I think the Observer has done a great thing for the business sector and hence for the economy. What we are doing is a great benefit to the poor," Campbell argued.
"It is a tremendous success. I am extremely happy because it was much better that last year".
At Conrod's Unique Fashion, proprietor, Conrod Gordon was equally happy over the upturn of sales generated as a result of FNO.
For Gem Meyler, proprietor of Meyler's Furnishing Store, FNO gave her the opportunity to sell more pieces of furniture than usual.
"I have seen a hike in sales. Furniture is not something that sell as readily as clothes and shoes, but thank God I was able to do something," a grateful Meyler told the Observer West.
A woman who was spotted struggling to carry two large bags, and who gave her name only as Joy, said she was happy with the bargains that were being offered.
"Is the first time me buy so much," she said.
Her female companion who was also carrying a large bag, agreed.
" I want to big up Observer for this event. Bring it again this Christmas. It should be more than once a year".
Over in Montego Bay, Hope Sterling, the proprietor of Sterling's Fashion Hut located on Market Street, also expressed gratitude to the Jamaica Observer for the initiative.
"I had a good day. I started offering my discounts from in the morning and I had my last customer at 10:15pm," she said.
Many customers, she added, were happy with the discounts.
Ann-Marie Cadogan, proprietor of Elegance Boutique in the Whitter Village, said though her store wasn't as crowded as last year, she still is happy with the customers that came out to shop.
"We didn't have a huge crowd but we still had sales that I'm sure we wouldn't have had if it wasn't for the Jamaica Observer and Fashion's Night Out. I am definitely on board next year," she stressed.
And Staysie Spence of Staysie's Boutique in the Fairview Town Centre told the Observer West that she too is appreciative of the Jamaica Observer for bringing FNO to Jamaica.
"I am really happy with the support I received from customers and I have to thank the Jamaica Observer for bringing this concept to Jamaica. Store owners don't usually earn much during the back-to-school period but I'm sure all retailers were able to earn more than they usually would at this time," said Spence.
Anthony Pearson, manager of Lloyd's Department Store on St James Street and in the Fairview Shopping Centre said both stores had done "pretty well".
" The response has been pretty good..... just like last year," he said.
And Gail Moe, proprietor of Lacy in the Fairview Town Centre, who was participation in FNO for the first time, had nothing but praises for the initiative.
" It was great; we had a wonderful time," she told the Observer West.
" It was an amazing crowd and were are grateful for the exposure. Now, everybody knows where to find us. Thanks to the Observer".
Shopper Nadia Burgess who spent most of the evening at the Fairview Shopping Centre said she was impressed with the attractive discounts from Staysie's.
"I saw some dresses last week and I just had to come back for them this evening. The 80 per cent discount is awesome. I was able to afford things I wouldn't usually be able to afford. One night of Fashion's Night out is just not enough. Wish we could have this twice a year," she exclaimed.