Retailers urge Bahamians to shop local
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Local retailers are encouraging Bahamians to ditch Amazon and Walmart this holiday season and shop local, describing this Christmas as “make or break” for many small businesses.
More than 40 local organizations have joined forces to launch Shop Local, an initiative intended to stimulate economic growth by encouraging Bahamian consumers to support local businesses rather than shopping abroad. The 10-week campaign launched yesterday and is sponsored by the Mall at Marathon, Nassau Cruise Port Ltd., Southwest Plaza, A.I.D., Furniture Plus, Graham Thompson and the Bahamas Light Industries Development Council (BLIDC).
The initiative will feature radio ads, billboards, social media marketing and newspaper ads designed to educate local consumers about the direct connection between their purchase decisions, national employment and the Bahamian economy’s health.
Alannah van Onselen, Shop Local director and president of Bahama Hand Prints, said: “Our economic success as a country is enhanced when we support the local economy. Local businesses need the support now more than ever in light of the COVID pandemic. When local consumers shop locally, it helps to support thousands of local jobs and build the economy by retaining money in the community, growing entrepreneurship and innovation.”
During a virtual press conference, van Onselen said local retailers employ more than 20,000 Bahamians.
Karla Wells-Lisgaris, BLIDC vice president, said: “We are hopeful that Bahamians will support local businesses and buy Bahamian. We need to keep as much money in the country as possible.”
Carla Moss-Fitzgerald, marketing director at the Mall at Marathon, noted that despite the fallout from the pandemic, the mall has not seen any significant number of departures as a direct result.
“We have not had many stores leave for that reason,” Moss-Fitzgerald.
“We had two stores whose leases came to an end and they declined to re-sign. Those two stores were Shoe Depot and Jean Junction. They also had other things they were looking into and other things going on in their store management that they made a decision that not to renew. Those stores had planned their departure prior to the lockdowns,” she added.