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Slow sales in Scarborough

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Slow sales in Scarborough

Retailers in Scarborough are reporting a slow restart to business, and vendors say they don’t expect activity to pick up overnight.

From as early as 8am on Tuesday, the second day since the easing of the lockdown restriction on the sector, a steady flow of pedestrian traffic was observed, but few customers were seen purchasing items.

An employee at a variety store, who wished to stay anonymous. said she wasn’t surprised by the slow start.

“So far, people are coming in but not really buying much. But they are coming in, because it’s the first time the store has been opened in so long. They just really browsing their eyes – see what we have and what they need – so I guess when they have money they would come back and buy, just my thought.”

A nearby cosmetic boutique clerk said: “People are not rushing to buy anything; they probably don’t have the funds either – remember, we’ve been shut down. Basically, most people were out of work for three months.”

Workers at a hair store in the vicinity said they were hopeful sales would pick up next week.

“We may see an influx of buyers probably next week when that sector which includes the hairdressers reopen, because people really not buying hair and hair products in abundance,” one employee said.

She added: “As it stands right now, we’re thankful to be back at work, and that’s important.”

A woman walking through Scarborough told Newsday she came just for essential items: “Shop? I didn’t come town to shop. I have to get some undies for my children, and these are things I must get. I really don’t have a lot of money to buy any of the extra stuff and then again, there is really no occasions to attend.”

Chairman of the Tobago Business Chamber Martin George said the chamber was not fazed by the slow sales.

“There is the issue of reduced incomes, persons may have lost jobs, been put on half-pay.

“There is still hesitancy by some to go out freely and mix and mingle with ​​people. There are the social distancing restrictions which will make folks have to line up to get into some stores and some people just won’t be bothered with that, and then the full population is not up and about so there’s a reduced consumer base.”

He reiterated his call for people to get vaccinated.

“We urge staff members, we urge customers, we urge customers, we urge our fellow Tobagonians to please get vaccinated so that we can all create a safe environment for the further reopening of our bars, beaches, restaurants – fully for dine-in – and the revitalisation, generally, of our tourism sector in Tobago. We keep insisting and saying vaccination is the key, it is the faster way for us to be able to fully reopen our economy in Tobago and we’re glad to see the retail sector open, but we caution again – we must vaccinate to operate.”


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