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STREET BEAT: Night is right

Carlos Atwell, carlosatwell

STREET BEAT: Night is right

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THE CHRISTMAS season is a time of the year when Bridgetown stores keep their doors open into the night.

After the sun sets, many Barbadians take full advantage of the rare opportunity to get their Yuletide items in the cool of the night without having to worry about rushing back to work or home.

Street Beat took a stroll through town around 7 p.m. to take in the atmosphere of shopping at night. Responses weighed the pros and cons.

There was a small group of people in The Shoe Locker. One woman, who identified herself as A. Learmont, was firmly on the pro side.

“I love the hours and I would like town to open so year round; I would spend more money,” she said, as a friend gave her a look which said she clearly disagreed.

Despite this, Learmont continued: “It’s only Christmastime I come into town cause I can come at night – otherwise I go to the malls.”

The other woman, who declined to be identified, argued the increased hours would only mean increased labour but Learmont said this was something which could be worked out.

Also in the store, a group of young men were trying on shoes. One of them said he was weighing his options for the next day. He also had ulterior motives for coming into own at night.

“It’s a good thing cause real girls in town so you might still get a number,” he said.

The young man said he arrived at 6 p.m. and at this time town would usually be shut so he was happy.

Another man, who identified as Carver, said the increased opening hours meant more people in town for a longer period, which in turn meant he could hustle longer.

“It is good the stores still open and I wish it would happen so longer because now I can come in town and see what business I can get. The stores should open until 11 or even midnight like in other countries,” he said, while asking the paper to place a plug for Zephirins bread, another venture he supports.

Reshma Stephens was in Galaxy Fashions with her family, looking at toys. She said there was simply too much work to do around the house during the day to come earlier so she appreciated the increased hours.

However she added it should remain a rare occasion.

“The time is convenient for me but right now people don’t have money so having the stores open so long may be pointless but at Christmas you [have to] find something for the kids,” she said.

Store owner Naresh Lilani said business was okay but not great.

“Business usually starts up in the afternoon around 3 or 4 p.m. In days gone by, you didn’t have long working hours but now you find business is more spread out. Still, even with these [even] later hours now [for Christmas], business quite slow, we are not seeing the expected sales and how much can you do in the next two days?” he said.

Even so, Lilani said their toys, bags and luggage line were doing well although not enough to match up with what they had been hoping for.

Roger “Don” Goodridge does his selling on the Swan Street, proudly – and loudly – proclaiming himself to be have the biggest toy selection on Swan Street and even Bridgetown itself. With the number of boxes behind him, that may not be an idle boast. He gave his thoughts.

“The people get pay so they out and my toys going. This night thing is good and bad; it give people who working the opportunity to shop at night but then you have to look at who is actually going to spend the money – people don’t have money to spend [all the time],” he said.

S Y Adams is one of the most popular and populated stores in The City. Sales clerk Jelissa Cyrus said morning work was hard enough only to add night work to it but there were benefits too.

“It is madness in here. This morning, you couldn’t even get through the door and now people still coming though not as much. From working so hard from morning, still being here is exhausting but the money gun look good,” she said.

In Dallas Discounts, Street Beat understands there had been a steady flow of customers. A representative said night shopping was beneficial but the stores would have to ensure they had good security just in case.

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