Night Shopping Wishful Thinking, Let Us First Do The Analysis!

Adrian Loveridge - Hotel Owner

I fundamentally believe that any new planning or policy directive must be based on fact and thorough research. This becomes even more critical when allocated budgets are under severe pressure while ‘we’ as a country are looking to maximise our tourism earnings. Gut feeling, intuition or speculation may work for some small enterprises but it surely cannot be a prominent factor when spending an annual budget close to $100 million.

What prompted these thoughts was after reading an article in this publication last week entitled ‘Night shopping can give boost’. Store owners in Bridgetown have been urged to consider opening their businesses to allow night shopping. It was indicated that ‘such an initiative would be a fillip for tourism, especially the cruise ship industry’.

In theory it’s a laudable idea, but wait a minute. Using February as an example and carefully going through cruise ship schedule, so ably posted on the Bridgetown Port website, a small amount of research indicates there is not necessarily the opportunity portrayed. In fact the vast majority of ships leave Barbados between 5pm and 6pm. These include the following vessels with the number of visits, during this month and passenger capacity shown in brackets:

Carnival Victory (2,758 passenger capacity x 5 visits) , Serenade of the Seas (2,490 x 2 visits, Celebrity Constellation (2,034 x 2 visits) Celebrity Summit (2,034 x 2 visits, Crystal Symphony (933), Massdam (1,258) and Noordam (1,924 ) at 5pm. Norwegian Dawn (2,224 x 2 visits), Emerald Princess (3,080) , Thomson Dream (1,132 x 4 visits) , Mein Shiff 2 (1,886 x 2 visits), Celebrity Equinox (2,850 x 2 visits) , Aida Luna (2,100 x 2 visits), Caribbean Princess (3,080 x 2 visits) and Costa Mediterranea (2,114 x 2 visits) at 6pm.

Joining passengers would certainly not leave it to the last minute, so further time has to be given to journey from the centre of Bridgetown and undergo any security checks before disembarkation. The ships that tend to stay longer, with very few exceptions (Braemar, Azura, Ventura and maybe Kristina Katarina (450 passengers) are the much smaller vessels that include Sea Dream 2 (112 passengers), Silver Cloud (296), Wind Spirit (148 ), Club Med 2 ( 386) and Royal Clipper (227). One other ship, the Marco Polo (800 ) departs at 8pm.

So when you eliminate all the passengers that leave Barbados late afternoon, then discount the remainder that may not be prepared to forgo their included dinner or dine very late, I wonder exactly what sort of numbers are left that would be attracted by ‘late night shopping’?

Please let me add that I am totally for revitalising Bridgetown. Frankly I was ashamed last Sunday when leading an early morning walk with 25 of our guests. However we have to start with the basics and known facts rather than speculating of what could be. Clean up the capital, get the homeless people off the streets and give some simple incentives to property owners to maintain and enhance their buildings.

These first elementary steps just might give real reasons for visitors and locals alike to frequent Bridgetown at night. If this happens then just maybe longer trading hours would follow.

27 thoughts on “Night Shopping Wishful Thinking, Let Us First Do The Analysis!

  1. The major problem in Barbados comes from when silly people who are well placed come up with a dumb idea and nobody wants to tell them that the idea is nonsensical, either through fear or some misplaced notion of respect.

    This country is falling apart because mothers, who historically have assumed the man’s role of guiding their children, are forced to work when their children are at home unsupervised. Even when there is a two-parent household oftentimes the father who should be at home leave the children to fend for themselves so that he can find a substitute sex partner for the hard working wife. That is one of the reasons why divorce and delinquency among the youth is so high.

    The quest for the almighty dollar has caused business to lean on Government to relax working opening times for stores to the detriment of families. They don’t provide any significant additional employment as promised. Instead they roster existing staff to cover the extended work day. The workers don’t benefit since instead of double time or time and a half for overtime work done on Sundays, we are now hearing that you can work any five days out of seven. No benefit to the worker just more money for the money grabbing big business.

  2. “This country is falling apart because mothers, who historically have assumed the man’s role of guiding their children, are forced to work when their children are at home unsupervised.”

    Caswell will you get down from your blasted pulpit and get real. Mothers have always worked. Who the hell do you think planted and tended the sugar cane fields? For an educated man you do talk a lot of nonsense at times.

    I agree that it is some fool who came up with this dim idea about night shopping. Perhaps shopping hours can be extended to 6.00 pm but many of the malls already fill that void. We have to realize that we are not a BIG island and do not have a BIG population so we must look at things from a different perspective. I agree that Bridgetown must be revitalized, we need a Hotel, some GOOD restaurants and cleaner streets.

  3. At this time of the year no one has an extra money to shop.Night planning implemented strategically(at specific times) like Christmas, Easter and Crop Over does have merit.To deprive employees of their week-ends might not worth the occasioned sales. Unless, of course store owners are willing to increase staff(which has not been the norm)and put on shifts.This is more a question for the accountants than the shopper.

  4. @islandgal

    Don’t be too quick to knock Caswell’s view. In the past many women worked by many remained at home (extended family) to nurture the family. In today’s world we design solutions sole based on economic considerations.

    At some point we, as a country, have to decide what kind of country we want to build out.

  5. “The major problem in Barbados comes from when silly people who are well placed come up with a dumb idea and nobody wants to tell them that the idea is nonsensical,”

    Sir I thank you. I had such a gloomy day, this itself made me crack up!

  6. “At some point we, as a country, have to decide what kind of country we want to build out.”

    So David you want women back into the kitchen bare footed and pregnant? Well I ain’t going back there! My daughter ain’t going back there! Her girl friends ain’t going back there! If many women decide to stop working many of their children would starve so dem ain’t gine back there.

    Men always seem to have the solutions where women are concerned. Why don’t the powers that be consult us as to what our needs are and implement them. We have given too much power to men in the past and have always gotten dirty end of the stick.

  7. @ Islandgal 246
    Men always seem to have the solutions where women are concerned.

    You need to cool down dear….and think…More women in control bout hay more than ever…would you like to see the script flipped ? Men can’t bear child or women inseminate themselves.Every thing in its place please..

  8. Old Onions bags…we are not properly represented in government yet make up 60% of the electorate. I am not trying to change the script just trying to adjust it fairly.

  9. Islandgirl246

    You are always to quick too comment without understanding what the other person is saying. I am not knocking women: those women that planted the cane were at home with their children around 4:00 p.m. I know what I am talking about: my mother is one of them. She was not out working all night, and she was at home to enforced discipline when it mattered. I must admit, I did not turn out too badly. Most times when we got home from school, she was there, not working extended hours for the almighty dollar leaving us to our own devices. Whether you want to accept it or not, women are the core of this society, and when they are away from their children almost continuously the prisons fill up.

    From the time I know myself men were roving village rams leaving the care and nurturing to women. We now have extended working hours: the mothers are forced to work or else; and the men have not given up their historical role of the roving village ram, so what do you expect. Extended working hours for women to work in retail business have done more harm to families than we care to imagine or admit. Some time ago there was some survey around the union which suggested that divorces were highest among nurses and policemen: the reason their were away from home at nights, but they had to be. It is not necessary to have a shop open all hours: people can arrange their shopping times like they did in the past.

    Also, now that the big business are opened all the time the little country shop is heading the way of the dodo. They used to make money when the big supermarkets were closed at 4:00 p.m. Think on these things Islandgirl before you rush in to berate.

  10. @ Caswell
    Here, Here..well put..Islnd gal246..your slip is showing.
    You cannot top facts… continuous night shopping here is doo doo.

    • Islandgal246

      Read people’s comments carefully before you respond to the wrong points. No one, and certainly not me, has ever suggested that women should stay at home to raise good children. I am a good boy and my mother worked Monday to Friday 7:00 am to 4:00 pm. All that I am saying to you that women should not have to work all hours in non essential services. I understand the need for nurses to work a 24 hour system, but why should young women with minor children be required to pump gas at midnight. Don’t you see that the owners go home to spend quality time with their children. But the Chamber of Commerce does not recognise that staff mostly poor women have responsibility for rearing children. They might argue that their responsibility is to the employer, but I will argue that it is the responsibility of the union to protect the worker. Moreso it is Government’s responsibility to protect the society. Allowing the owners of capital to do as they like is not in the interest of the masses. Government must regulate opening times for the greater good of the country, not for the greater good of those who want to make more money no matter what.

  11. @islandgal

    Like anything we have to constantly search for a balance/equilibrium if you will. Our social system is dynamic and the idea of building a society although politicized is where we need to steer the discussion.

  12. @ islnGal

    Read again ..never said you was your attack on Caswell with illogic to which I responded..
    I have already posted dispelling notion of night shopping..AGAIN as Caswelll states

    “You are always to quick too comment without understanding what the other person is saying “

  13. True caswell.everybody gets rich while the family unite deteriorates and the small business man gets the sh……ty end of the stick.a good example is america where the poor gets poore and the rich gets richer and the family unit is almostnonexistence.

  14. If wunna think that we will change back the clock think again! Women are in the workplace to stay! Those who feel that they must stay at home to raise good children they must have a well off partner and are in a stable relationship. Reality is that women must work to gain their financial independence. Without that they are doomed and so are their children! If men want to have good children they must all play a positive part in their children’s upbringing.

  15. but giving the critical analysis of the arrivals and departues i don’t think it would make much of a boast. however there is no doubt that the downtown area needs cleaning up pretty soon no body including locals would want to visit. how is it that areas that have the big name Hotels Are so well kept .

  16. Man Caswell, sometimes you make the Bushman so proud…..actually most times!!

    ..if only we could forget that Alexandra matter…LOLOLOLOL

    • Bushie

      Even Jesus did not please all men at all times. Anyhow, I am glad that you are pleased now, but Islandgirl isn’t. Can’t please everybody but I will leave her to Lemuel.


  17. it is idiots like Caswell and Adrian Loveridge with their backward thinking that would constantly try to keep Barbados from moving forward. There is nothing wrong with night shopping, i think it is an excellent idea and productive and compfortable, it will have its teething pains in the beginning but that can make headway in solving the unemployment problem. Many developed and developing countries have night shopping go anywhere in the world and stores are opened very late and they are customers buying. My example is America and Venezuela. The Isle of Margarita was a fishing village about 20 years ago, have you seen how far it has developed that island has surpassed Barbados we are still stuck in the year 1980 or there abouts. The businesses in Margarita and Caracas close very late it is exciting visiting there. Next thing, the hotels here in Barbados close their pools around 10 ‘o’ clock at night, In Caracas and Margarita when 2 in the morning you will find families having the time of their life in the pools the restaurants around the pools are open, the whole area is packed with people, it is a wonder, we need to go that way also. We are still in the dark ages and we need some young brains to bring about a change in thinking in our little island else we are going to be left behind

    • Pretty Blind Eyes

      The problem with people like you is that you travel, experience things and then want to emulate them here without the necessary infrastructure. We are a nation of copiers: we copy anything good or bad, but usually bad. It is people like you who would want to disrupt this society, without any positive benefits just because you can’t manage your time effectively. The businesses that open late don’t usually hire additional staff: they adjust starting times so that they would have most staff on duty during peak shopping times. But tell me something, do you think that people would come to Barbados to shop with these price gougers in control of commercial activity. I go to St. Lucia fairly often and I defer my shopping until I go there. For example, I was able to save close to BDS $200 on a pair of Clarks shoes and jeans were half the Barbados price, even before the duty free price.

      From what you have written, I can picture you with your underwear sticking out above your pants. You are a copier: nothing original about.

  18. @Caswell you are assuming lots about me and you are so wrong, so you saved close to $200 on a pair of Clarks and Jeans while shopping in St.Lucia. Please broaden you spectrum, I shop every year up to 3 times a year in Caracas and Margarita, I will give you just a little glimpse of what I save. I bought Lacoste shirts for the equivalent of Bds$35.00 in Margarita, I came to Barbados saw the exact shirt down to the same colours and sizes for Bds$310.00. Jeans that I bought in Caracas for the equivalent of Bds$25.00 I saw the exact one for Bds$175.00. The plane fair, hotel accommodation transportation to and from the airport, plus all inclusive package,at the hotel for 7 nights 8 days at a 3 star hotel was Bds$1,200.00 per person.

    The businesses that open late in America and Caracas and Margarita always open at the same time 9 ‘o’ clock they have a shift system, where is your thinking Caswell, move ahead we are not in the 60s. It is people like you with your kind of backward thinking that holds back our island. Try going to other parts of the world see what the Unions do for their members see the developmed nations and then come back, you would be singing a different tune. Of course you know what I am trying to say, Unions bout here are only raise-of-pay and you-hurt-my-ego-so-i-will-strike Unions, backward thinking nothing progressive at all.

  19. Pretty Blue Eyes,

    Just remind us please, does Venezuela operate a siesta rest system?
    If so, what times does it apply to.

    Adrian Loveridge AKA idiot.

  20. Mr. Loveridge I am quite sure you know the answer to that, yes they do, and it is from 1-3 in the afternoon, it is not mandatory, however the majority of stores do not follow this practice and defintely not the hotels

  21. @ Caswell

    Yes, we are a nation of copiers I agree – and no more so when it comes to legislation lifted from abroad which nobody here seems to understand.
    BUT there is a difference between copying and capturing an idea and developing it in our own way – which is the way of the poet. There is nothing wrong in that – most of us never had an original idea anyway.

    @ David

    Yes, I agree with you. It is about how we see ourselves and how we want to be seen. The Garcia case at root is all about that. The problem with politics is that neither party has any kind of identifying philosophy any more – other than the philosophy of vote grabbing.

    @ all ladies here

    You will be pleased to hear that in 30 years time the legal profession will be almost exclusively female – well. I suppose you will. Errrrr

  22. @ Caswell

    Yes, and I realise now – you are not a poet. The poet would have gone for the groin and referred to Blue Eyes’ THONGS not “underwear”. Sadly, I think, you are mere prose buried in a world of navy knickers impregnated with asbestos – well, like all us older fellas, except in your dreams.

Leave a comment, join the discussion.