Brisk trade at Robertson’s fire sale
A spirit of support and solidarity has been shown in the wake of the fire that gutted a large section of Robertson’s Drug Store in St George last month.
Another business in the town opened its doors to allow the pharmacy owners to hold a two-week “fire sale” that attracted long lines of customers.
And the pharmacy store is on the way back — it reopened its lower floor the week after the blaze, and it is preparing to reopen the main shop floor.
Joy Rothwell, a co-owner and manager at Robertson’s, has praised the support of the community, including businesses in the town that rallied around to offer support.
One of those was Kelly Diel, of Seaglass Studio, on Water Street, who made available the vacant section of her new premises for Robertson’s to hold its fire sale.
“She has done us a big favour,” said Ms Rothwell. “Other people have offered to help us. All the business people in the town have a relationship. This was the best property [for the fire sale].”
There were lines of people streaming into the fire sale during its first few days, and the demand was so great that on a few occasions the sale had to be restocked.
“It went well. We still have some things left,” said Ms Rothwell on Wednesday.
Among items included in the sale were toys, luggage items, stationary, hair care, and books.
Explaining the reason for the sale, Ms Rothwell said: “It was a way of trying not to waste stuff.”
She praised Robertson’s staff for the work they have done helping with the clean-up of the fire-damaged premises and getting the store back in business, albeit in a limited capacity at present.
She added: “People have been really supportive. Everything is ready for the opening of upstairs. There are a few things that need to be done. We will open it as soon as we can.”
Further community support has come from the Bermuda Pilot Gig Rowing Club, which intends to undertake a rowing challenge to raise money for a local charity in honour of Robertson’s Drug Store.
The fire sale has been held in part of the former CV café, halfway along Water Street. The premises are now occupied by Seaglass Studio, which early last month relocated from the opposite side of Water Street. One side of the new location is now home to the Seaglass Studio, while the adjoining vacant half of the premises will eventually be transformed into a café.
Ms Diel, who owns Seaglass Studio, was in the process of moving her business into the new space on September 2 when she heard that the pharmacy on York Street was on fire.
She said: “The day I moved Seaglass in here, someone came up and said Robertson’s was on fire. I ran down the street and it was heartbreaking seeing the family there watching as their building burnt down. I felt so bad after that I could not focus.”
Later that week she saw members of the Rothwell family walking along Water Street looking for a suitable place to hold a fire sale.
“I said to them that if they needed a space they could take the empty café. It was important that they had a place with air conditioning.”
The turnout for the sale, particularly in the first few days, was extremely high.
Ms Diel said: “They opened the sale on a Thursday morning and there was a line of people outside waiting for them to open. The next day was busy too, and then on Saturday it was worse; it seemed like the whole of the island came down for the sale.”
The fire sale was winding down this week with a few items still on offer.
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