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Last rush to get children outfitted

marciadottin, [email protected]

Last rush to get children outfitted

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TODAY, THOUSANDS OF children return to school after two months of relaxation.For some, it will be a return to familiar surroundings while for others, it will mark a new chapter in their lives as they begin their first term at a new school.Whatever the case, all these children need similar things – school clothes; stationery and shoes and this sparks an annual Barbadian tradition: The last minute back-to-school shopping frenzy.There was barely standing room in many stores when a DAILY NATION team made the rounds through The City on Saturday as parents, many showing signs of anxiety and frustration, rubbed shoulders in their quest to get the right fit; the right book version and/or the right material.Jennifer Blackman, a sales representative in Days Book Store in Independence Square, described the day as hectic and chaotic. She said many of the workers could not go to lunch due to the volume of customers.“The retail staff often have to deal with multiple customers at the same time and some people are so impatient . . . ,” she said.Blackman said they had already accommodated early shoppers so the late rush resulted in some books being out of stock.One parent, Stephaney Scott, was book hunting with all four of her children. She said she had not been able to get everything she wanted so she would have to keep searching and keep in contact with the store owners.“I have visited two book stores so far. It’s been a bit of a struggle getting everything,” she said.It was a similar situation in D’s Mega Styles, albeit for shoes.“We doing bumper business. It’s been crazy from morning with the back-to-school traffic and soft wear,” said owner DaCosta “Mega” Brathwaite.Meshel  Williams had her three sons with her, all looking for shoes. She said shoes were their last stop in their back-to-school tour.“This is the second shoe store I visited but as this is last minute, I don’t expect to get all the shoes I’m looking for. I decided to wait until the last minute because normally children grow over the vacation and with all the running about, they would wear out the shoes if I bought them early,” she said.It was not only the smaller stores registering shoulder to shoulder traffic, but large ones such as Cave Shepherd as well. In the store’s school uniform section, sales associate Cynthia Bryant had no time for rest.“It’s been very busy. This year seems even more hectic than last year,” she said, as she tore off a measure of cloth for some waiting customers.Business was good for both inside and outside vendors. Joycelyn and Cathy Atherley-Benn of Sidewalk Boutique could barely keep their schoolbags on the stands.“It’s going great, this is all I have left. Every year there is a rush; people come out when they have the money,” said Cathy.Lisa Thorpe was nearby picking out some bags for her three children. She explained why she waited so long.“I came looking for school items before but I couldn’t find the sizes I wanted, then I heard about all this new stock.“Over the summer you spend money on summer activities so when August comes, I use that pay cheque on back-to-school,” she said. (CA)