Sun | Jan 21, 2018

One, two, tree! - Natural option a hit for vendors, but Christmas shopping off to slow start

Published:Monday | December 12, 2016 | 12:00 AMJason Cross
Vendor Christopher Williams gets a Christmas tree ready for sale at Lane Plaza in St Andrew yesterday.
Families shop for Christmas trees at Lane Plaza in St Andrew yesterday.
A family waits for a Christmas tree to be tied to the top of their car after purchasing it from a vendor at Lane Plaza in St Andrew yesterday.

Christmas is fast app-roaching, but up to yesterday, there was little sign of increased economic activity in certain areas usually known to be busy with people trying to buy items for the season.

The exception was Half-Way Tree, St Andrew, where natural willow Christmas trees decorated the sidewalks as is the norm at this time of year.

With most of the stores in the area closed, a handful of people could be seen shopping around.

The main area of activity was the sidewalk by the entrance to Lane Plaza, where a number of families enthusiastically came forward to select Christmas trees.

One man was overheard instructing a vendor to put his tree on top of his BMW motor car.




At about 3 p.m., vendor Christopher Williams was looking out for a buyer for the last of his trees.

"[I had] about 50 [trees], and now I only [have] two, honestly," Williams said when asked how sales were going for the day.

"This is a five-foot willow tree. We sell for $1,000 [per] ft, so this is $5,000. A lot of customers come today and buy them off."

Other vendors were removing tress from the back of a pickup van - the mode of transport used to replenish their stock from where the trees are cut down in Penlyne Castle in the Blue Mountains.

"I doing this now for the past 15 years. It's a good business," said Williams.

"A lot of people come out to buy dem tree," he said, noting that the trees could last until January if they are kept in water.