Holiday shopping blues
With just a few days left until Christmas, Linden businesses are bemoaning the slothful holiday shopping so far experienced, and some have said that this is the “worst” year that they have experienced. Usually around this time of the year, there is an increase in commercial sales, but for many businesses in the Linden community, they are yet to experience the holiday rush.
<<<Guyana Times>>> visited a number of businesses in the major shopping areas around Mackenzie to solicit their views on the holiday shopping atmosphere, and to compare it to last year. While some remain optimistic that there will be an increase in sales by the weekend, others are not so certain. One vendor told this publication that “shopping now start pick up”, while another declared, “It ain’t start pick up yet, say around Friday, Saturday time. Last year around this time, it didn’t start pick up yet. It will pick up, but within the last moment.”
Speaking with this publication, a popular vendor, Curtis (only name given) said business was slow this year as he pointed to some level of prioritising by customers. He explained, “This year slower. Last year time like this, it had already started to pick up.” The vendor expressed hope that business would improve later on in the week.
“It’s not like first time. Like three years back, it was nicer, but the last two years (shaking his head). Last year it get slow, this year it more slow. We might only get a two-day sales – Friday and Saturday and then that’s it,” Curtis continued.
Asked what he believed may be responsible for the slothfulness in sales, he said, “Money ain’t circulating so much you know. Remember people got other bills… so they can’t spend so much. And January month does be a hard month.”
Meanwhile, Joan Caesar of Chanzar’s Enterprise says she believes that shopping in Linden is centred around the final week before Christmas, and remains optimistic that the shopping atmosphere will improve as the weekend draws closer.
“Linden is one week Christmas. Even in town it ain’t looking like Christmas. People just going about their ordinary shopping – you find that people try to clean and then come out and shop. You find people waiting on their bonus or the lil’ box money… things will pick up. It may not go to the pitch as we expect it, but we have to say it will,” she noted. Another vendor along the Mackenzie arcade who wishes to remain anonymous explained that things were slowly picking up.
“It’s coming to come. It picking up a little, but it’s not a hundred per cent. Last year, oh larsh! Last year was better than this year. At least it pick up over the last couple weeks though. People like last-minute shopping and people waiting for the lil’ bonus money before they come and shop”, the vendor said.
Another vendor explained that while the flow of consumers was difficult to predict, for now it seemed like normal shopping in Linden. She too exclaimed that the shopping season was the worst that she has seen so far. “We need money in Linden… This year is the worst year ever. Time like this we don’t even get market goods, but now, if you see how much we get. Normally, Monday will tell you how the week will run. If nothing else, you would get a good sale on Monday, but I ain’t know what going on. Last year every minute you had to be running to town to buy more goods, sometimes two, three times a week. Some people coming saying how they waiting on some money that is supposed to pay, everybody waiting on their bonus. Let dem make haste pay it,” she exclaimed.
Another business owner Ronnel Mingo echoed similar sentiments regarding the slothfulness of sales.
“It slow, very slow, but at least last year around this time it started to pick up. Last year was slow, but not as slow as this year. I’m hoping that by weekend, things start to pick up,” she said.