Businesses report strong sales this holiday season

While the increase of value-added tax (VAT) pinched the pockets of taxpayers in July; the arrival of the holidays has spurred shoppers to increase spending, according to a number of local store owners.

Godwin Butler, partner at Milo Butler & Sons, said yesterday that he has not observed a drop-off in sales this season and attributed this to the Yuletide season, which he believes has lifted the spirits of shoppers.

“So far business has been business as usual,” Butler said.

“The Bahamian shopper seems to be very motivated and excited at this time, so prosperity is still existing in our land, which is great.

“A lot of folks that come here know what they want, they make a selection and leave here with a smile on their faces,” he shared.

“But, we want to work with one’s budget. So, once you come in with an established budget and tell us what you are looking for, we can better attend to you.”

Butler shared that the family-run business brought in a little over 1,000 evergreens trees this season.

“We have special Balsams which are hearty and durable; some of our top of the line trees,” he said.

“Then, we have our regular Balsams with a finer needle.

“They tend to grow wild. Then, we have plantation Christmas trees also, which are actually our best sellers for this season.”

After selecting the perfect, budget-specific Christmas tree, taking into consideration the desired height, width and needle type, Linda Stubbs, owner of The Decorator’s Den, said it’s time to decorate.

Stubbs has been in the decorating business for over 35 years.

She said when it comes to Christmas décor, “red is the color of the season.”

“I don’t believe in bringing Easter into Christmas,” she said.

“The purples and the burnt orange and lavender; I am not feeling those colours.

“But, if a client insists on having those colours, I just encourage them to throw a little red in the mix because red says, it’s Christmas.”

Stubbs also shared her tips on dressing up Christmas trees.

“I love working with ribbon,” she said.

“So, you have… ribbon that is netted, but its soft and pliable and very easy to work with.

“That helps to create a silhouette in the tree and makes it look whimsical.”

After the decorative ribbon, then comes the placement of ornaments and lights.

Once completed, Stubbs said she usually adds fillers such as gold or silver branches.

“The fillers usually go on the outside and then you begin adding decorative opulent ornaments, and you end the decorative process with your tree topper,” Stubbs noted.

Purchasing and decorating a Christmas tree is widely considered a quintessential festive tradition and part of “the joy” of the Christmas season.

Both Stubbs and Butler said with less than two weeks left before Christmas Day, they expect shoppers to continue spending big in an effort to enjoy age-old holiday traditions.