‘Christmas season coming alive’ - Businesses welcome bump in sales for Black Friday
With sales cramped by the coronavirus pandemic since March, business operators opened their stores yesterday to large numbers of shoppers flocking in for deals on Black Friday, bringing a spirit of hope to weary traders who had complained for much of the year.
Originally an American tradition, Black Friday has crept its way around the globe, marking the start of the Christmas shopping period.
Yesterday, shoppers flocked plazas and stores in major towns across the island in search of bargains.
The Azan Superstore in Cross Roads, St Andrew, yesterday kicked off a three-day weekend sale to woo customers, shopping under strict COVID-19 containment protocols.
“We are seeing a spike in business and people are trying to adhere to the protocols,” said Natalie Debellis, the store’s human resource and marketing manager.
“The business community is trying to adjust as best we can, so we can still recover all we had lost. The sale has started off very well. Jamaicans are vibrant and we have a spirit that is able to withstand all challenges,” she added.
Debellis said that this year was particularly challenging for businesses.
“In March, when COVID-19 came about, we were out very hard. Jamaicans were very scared and took it seriously and as a result, we were hurting. However, due to the fantastic job the Government is doing, citizens are adhering to protocols and we are beginning to see the Christmas season come alive,” she told The Gleaner.
Other store operators were also seen enjoying bumper sales. For those who did not have busy cash registers, they still saw signs of hope.
A short distance away, Daunette Stone, owner of Midtown Liquor Supplies, wasn’t offering any discounts, but said that as Christmas draws nearer, more and more persons are checking out her prices, promising to return.
This she viewed as a positive sign.
“The plaza is a bit busy, especially on a Friday evening; however, we see people coming in to check on prices, saying they will come back. We are not really having a Black Friday sale, but people have been coming to check to know how to budget,” she said.
“During COVID, some people were afraid to come out. Some people are getting used to the pandemic. People are being cautious, but we are hopeful,” added Stone.