Waiting for last minute Christmas rush
Managers of businesses in Roseau say they are prepared for the usual Christmas rush a few days before Christmas. However, they report that over the past few days as far as shopping is concerned "things were mixed."
The SUN visited three main shopping centres in Roseau to assess the level of shopping leading up to Christmas Day.
Dexter Ducreay, the General Manager of A.C. Shillingford (ACS) said "things are a bit slow" but during the week leading up to Christmas he expects a rush and he is ready for that.
"Nothing has picked up…but I am confident that next week (beginning December 19) it will increase since some people have not yet been paid and as is the tradition, people always like the last minute shopping," he said.
Ducreay said he is hoping that "sales will be good" and that Dominicans are "making the sacrifice but they love last minute shopping.
"We are well stocked and waiting. Last year all our hams were sold out and we expect the same this year. It always comes down the last days," Ducreay said.
ACS operates a supermarket in Roseau and a 7-11 store on Victoria Street and in Pottersville. Ducreay said both 7-11's will be opened right through the holiday season to facilitate shoppers.
Magerie Francis, the manager of Whitchurch IGA Roseau said "things are picking up" and he expects the level of shopping to continue during the week of Christmas.
"It has picked up…we saw it during our Mid-Month Madness in December. Once you have the products people will come and buy and I am hoping it will continue so," he said.
He believes that the availability of local products play a key role.
"The local products are going fast, we just don't have enough to supply, the demand is great but the local farmers just have to supply the demand for fruits etc.," Francis said. "We are ready for the upcoming rush and expect it to be very good."
Reginald Astaphan, the manager of J.E. Nassief, located on the Dame Eugenia Charles Boulevard, said: "Things are slow for now. There are no improvement in the sales; everyone waits for the last minute."
He complains that the snag for his company is cruise ships that dock at the Roseau terminal.
"Sales have dropped since after the independence. Drinks are not selling, but I am confident it will pull up the last week of Christmas since that is usually the pattern…this year is slower than last year," Astaphan said.
He says that whenever there is a cruise ship at the Roseau port Nassief's sales are drastically affected because customers can't access parking near the store to do business.
"But once we have no boat next week, I am sure that things will be at a rush," he said.