RADHICA DE SILVA
In a last-minute attempt to get sales after a slow season, entrepreneurs at High Street, San Fernando slashed their prices drastically on Christmas Eve.
The streets were crammed with shoppers but despite the lower prices, very few people carried shopping bags and boxes.
At Lower High Street, vendor Hazir Nabirali said, “Today sales picked up a bit. We had no choice but to drop the bike prices sop what was selling for $1,300 we dropped it to $1,050 and the bicycles that sold for $1,600 now cost $1,400.”He said many people bought tricycles for $250.
Some shoppers said they came specifically to buy on Christmas Eve because they anticipated lower prices.
Shornamae Skeete said, “It’s a tradition for us to shop today because people sell cheaper.” Her mother Anika Skeete said, “I waited for today to get some sheets, curtains and skirts.” Saying they loved the hustle, Skeete said, “We always get a $5 or a $10 off.”
Ryan Chadee, of Gasparillo, who was also seen shopping, said he also noticed a change in the prices.“Things are selling very reasonable today. The sales were very slow at first but now a day before the holiday people came out to get whatever they needed,” he said.
Abdool Gajadhar said people were walking on the streets and very few were shopping.
“Everybody just walking around and watching but they not shopping. People don’t have money to spend. Some people just walking up and down,” he said.
President of the Greater San Fernando Chamber of Commerce Kiran Singh said the deals that were offered on Christmas Eve will be surpassed on Boxing Day.
“Right now the streets are crowded with people and we expect this will continue way into the night on Christmas Eve. We have a heavy police presence and we have provided proper parking on the Promenade,” Singh said.
He explained that business owners were very cognisant of the financial stress people were facing.“We expect that stores will be closing very late and we intend to ensure that shoppers and business owners are safe,” Singh added.