America’s Cup boosted October retail sales
America’s Cup fever boosted sales in clothes and tourist-related stores in October.
Sales revenue in clothes stores rocketed by more than a third and around 12 per cent of the total was attributed to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series event.
Tourist-related stores’ gross receipts also went up by nearly a third and some 15 per cent of their total sales were put down to America’s Cup sales.
Bermuda Chamber of Commerce retail sector spokeswoman Paula Clarke said: “The increase in apparel and tourist business sales is largely attributed to the activity surrounding the America’s Cup Series event that took place in October.
“We saw a large influx of tourists, not normally seen in the month of October, in the week leading up to the event, and the buy-in from the local community was incredible.
“Local event business owners, such as the Kids Zone vendors, street vendors and pop-up shops, bars and restaurants all benefited from the event.
“America’s Cup merchandise was a big hit and was a sought after commodity.”
She added: “Also keep in mind that in the previous year Bermuda suffered from two hurricanes — most businesses were closed for two days and when stores opened again, people were concentrating on home repairs not apparel sales.
“You will see that building material stores reported a decline in sales of 3.5 per cent compared to last year for that reason.”
Overall, retail sales rose 3.5 per cent year on year in October, or 3.2 per cent after adjustment for inflation, measured at 0.3 per cent in October.
It is the eleventh successive increase in retail sales volume.
The news came in the retail sales index figures for October, released yesterday.
The report said that increased marketing and two extra shopping days also contributed to the increase in clothing sales.
Sales of vehicles also rose, up 30.2 per cent compared to October last year.
The report said: “The increase in sales was due to a 32.7 per cent rise in the number of vehicles sold which included greater demand for commercial vehicles.”
The sales value of food also increased, up by 2.9 per cent, 0.3 per cent in volume terms, but liquor sales fell by 0.9 per cent (1.9 per cent in volume terms).
Receipts in building supplies stores fell by 3.5 per cent compared to last year, which was attributed to high demand last year due to hurricane damage after a double strike within days of each other.
The all other stores sector saw a 4.8 per cent fall in sales receipts, with sales of furniture, appliances and electronics dropping by 23 per cent.
Gross receipts for pharmacies increased by 7.3 per cent, while boat and marine supply stores saw a 0.1 per cent increase.
After adjustment for inflation, sales in the category fell 4.4 per cent.
Sales receipts for service stations also dropped, down 10.8 per cent, which reflected lower oil prices as well as lower volumes of sales.
The price of fuel declined 4.6 per cent year on year, with the volume of sales dropping 6.4 per cent, again put down to increased demand for fuel for vehicles and generators during the hurricanes of 2014.
Returning residents declared overseas purchases of 4.2 million in October, 2.3 per down on the previous October.
This contributed to a combined local and overseas spending total of $92 million.