Retailers gear up for Black Friday rush

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  • Bargain hunt: shoppers line up around the block to take advantage of early-morning discounts on a previous Black Friday

    Bargain hunt: shoppers line up around the block to take advantage of early-morning discounts on a previous Black Friday

  • Buy Bermuda: this example, compiled by Gibbons Co CEO Paula Clarke, shows why it can be cheaper to buy locally

    Buy Bermuda: this example, compiled by Gibbons Co CEO Paula Clarke, shows why it can be cheaper to buy locally

It’s almost that time again when locals indulge in hefty discounts at stores across the island.

Black Friday, which is held annually on the last Friday of November, was originally a US tradition, but locals have embraced it since 2010.

The opening hours of some retail stores have been extended, some opening as early as 5am and closing as late as midnight, to give opportunities to grab deals.

Black Friday was believed to have started in the 1930s, but the official date is not known.

Paula Clarke, head of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce’s retail division and chief executive officer at Gibbons Company, had a message for locals considering shopping online overseas during this key time of year for retailers.

Ms Clarke believes that shopping locally can work out cheaper, factoring in added charges for shipping and duty.

She said: “Retailers in Bermuda work hard to bring the very best selection, variety of choice and great value to our customers here in Bermuda.

“We are where our customers are and provide employment to over 4,000 Bermudians annually and hire seasonally in summer and the fourth quarter.

“We often suffer from misinformation when people compare our retail prices to overseas. I put together a spreadsheet demonstrating the savings of one item, a toy from Fisher-Price (see image attached).

“It went viral this weekend comparing our price to a Walmart price. Customers can forget that retailers in Bermuda have already paid all the ‘on’ costs to get goods here to sell in Bermuda.

“When customers shop online and use services to bring the goods in for them, the customer pays all the ‘on’ costs, it does not cost the shippers/courier companies anything, they are using the clients’ money to pay for everything upfront.”

Ms Clarke said every $100 spent overseas is lost from Bermuda’s economy, but every $100 spent locally circulates at least six times in Bermuda.

“People are buying groceries, using services, eating out and spending on entertainment right here at home, keeping this economy moving,” she added.

Gibbons Company has started offering major discounts on favourites. And some stores have started discounting a week early this year.

Gorham’s Ltd has extended its weeklong promotion. They started last Saturday and will end this coming Saturday.

Gregory Nisbett, floor manager at Gorham’s said: “Every day we are continuing to add more stuff. This year we have done things differently where we have people who choose selected items and our overseas shopper brings them in for us to offer the products at a cheaper price.”

Gorham’s is offering discounts of up to 50 per cent on appliances.

Also iClick, which has extended opening hours from 8am to 9pm, is offering discounts up to 40 per cent on Apple iPads, iPhones, MacBooks and other selected items.

Cycle Care is opening its doors at 7am, offering 50 per cent discounts on bikes.

Maynes Furniture is offering 50 per cent off — and 15 per cent off if ordering online.

Phoenix stores, including Annex Toys and Brown & Co, are offering up to 40 per cent off.

People’s Pharmacy has a sliding scale of discounts on late night shopping on Friday. From 9pm to 10pm, it’s offering 50 per cent off, from 10pm to 11pm 40 per cent off, and from 11pm to 12am 20 per cent off, store-wide.

Both Sears and Pricerite are offering 10 per cent off everything, today only.

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Published Nov 23, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Nov 23, 2017 at 12:21 am)

Retailers gear up for Black Friday rush

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