Local ‘Black Friday’ sales low in comparison to last year

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – As some shoppers in the United States waited for hours outside store fronts and literally “raced” to rack up Black Friday deals, the same was not evident at home, despite many businesses offering Black Friday deals.

Eyewitness News visited the Southwest Plaza around 6:00 a.m. on Black Friday, to interview persons who were waiting to take advantage of slashed prices.

We found it surprising, however, that the number of shoppers at the Plaza in comparison to last year had drastically declined.

Last Black Friday, 2017, CBS Bahamas and the Bahamas Telecommunications Company in the Southwest plaza accommodated thousands, but this year, only an estimated 100 people lined up outside CBS Bahamas, just minutes before doors opened for its Black Friday sale.

Shanecia Swann, a Buyer at CBS Bahamas said she was not surprised by the low turnout at last Friday’s sale, and the company had already mapped out how they planned to make the same quota this year as they did last year.

“The whole year has been challenging with everything that has been going on in our economy,” Swann said.  “We expected it, which is why at the last minute we decided to go store-wide on certain sale items, like extending our sale on towels to 50 per cent, which is something everybody needs.

“We figured out that we wanted to make what we needed to make, so we went back into our thinking hole, and came up with strategies as we are going to make our target today.”

“This [lack of sales] has everything to do with our economy,” the CBS Buyer surmised.

“Light bills are increasing, the cost of living is going up and salaries are not, so Bahamians are now being wise.

“Black Friday has never been about making a profit, it’s about allowing persons to know where we are and who we are, it’s about getting people in the store.”

Swann said CBS wanted to offer sales on items that consumers would most appreciate; like lawn mowers, weed whackers, microwave ovens, towels and toolkits.

Meanwhile, consumers who visited the Southwest Plaza last Friday looking for Black Friday deals expressed that they were hoping for deeper discounts.

“These prices are reasonable. I’m not blown away, but I see a couple things that I’m looking forward to purchasing,” one customer said.

Swann said the increase in value-added tax (VAT) and getting suppliers to lower costs have been the reason for restricted sale prices on certain items.