Back-to-school shopping picked up at Woolworth once reopening was set
Stationery sales were good.
COVID-19 and the late confirmation about schools' reopening and the chosen approaches led to later back-to-school purchases and influenced what was purchased first and foremost.
This is according to the Managing Director of F.W. Woolworth in Bridgetown, Martin Bryan.
To Loop News earlier this week, he confessed:
"The back-to-school department's sales were definitely less than last year but sales have picked up since parents and guardians know for sure the way forward for school.
"We picked up a lot in the last 10 days, so I think, our numbers are still down for sure but the last 10 days for sure, we were busy."
And he said that he believes this will be the trend this time around.
"I think you're going to see that for the rest of the year. I think because of the limited days of school, parents that are accustomed buying five, four uniforms or whatever, they were buying two. And I think because of COVID as well a lot of people are not working the budget is kind of tight, so instead of buying the four uniforms or three, they might buy one. So I think that's what we're going to see."
Asked about their prices in comparison to previous years, Bryan said: "We made a conscious decision to drop our margins cause we recognised that the average Barbadian was struggling, so our margins were lower than they where they were last year, so our prices were better."
In terms of what was flying off the shelves though, he shared that "stationery was quite busy though, cause even though you're doing online school you still needed your pens and paper and calculators and so on so that department was quite busy and we had some ridiculous specials in that department as well. For example, composition books, we had two for $5 and I don't think anywhere in Barbados could beat that."
However, he admitted, "Bags? Not so much because you don't really need a bookbag to be taking anywhere. So..." But on the flipside, with the Ministry of Education advocating for children taking to school packed lunches where possible, many parents in the store in the bag aisle were looking at lunch bags and lunch boxes.