Shop locally to help your economy’
A Hamilton entrepreneur has urged Bermuda residents to support the economy by doing their shopping on-island.
Betty-Anne Burch, who has degrees in merchandising, fashion design and business, owns clothing boutique X Girl Friend on the east side of Court Street, just north of Dundonald Street.
The business recently moved to that location from a spot in Paget.
Ms Burch said: “If you don’t shop where you live, it weakens the economy. People need to understand that.”
She added: “We create jobs for people’s children, we create seasonal jobs. If you shop online, you’re not helping the economy to grow.
“I shop locally no matter what. I patronise my neighbours, that’s how you keep your economy going.”
Aside from supporting the retail sector of the economy that provides jobs for 3,500 Bermudians, Ms Burch said there is a practical reason to shop on-island rather than online.
It is only in person, she said, that a shopper can try clothes on for size, or feel the fabric that they are made of.
“What it looks like on your phone isn’t necessarily what arrives in Bermuda,” she said. “And then what can you do about it?”
Ms Burch opened X Girl Friend in August on South Road, adjacent to the Paget traffic lights, carrying a wide range of women’s fashions with a “funky, retro, boho chic, eclectic vibe”, including popular name brands from the United States and Europe.
A strong opening was followed by a predictable retail lull in October, but come November Ms Burch began to look for a new location.
She said: “I loved the Paget location, I still do, but parking was a problem. I also had to find a place with walk-in traffic.
“The big difference here on Court Street is that it is a business area over here. In Paget, no one else was around if you were not coming to me. Here, you have a choice of stores. If you want to check everyone out, you can.”
Like the Paget shop, the new store features a blast of colour both in terms of decor and inventory. All the art has either been created by Ms Burch, or upscaled for re-use.
After a month spent renovating the space formerly occupied by hair and nail salon Next Level, Ms Burch re-opened X Girl Friend on December 27, missing the pre-Christmas shopping period.
“But we caught the new year’s crowd, which was pretty good,” she said.
“Business has been very good since we have been open.”
• X Girl Friend is open Monday through Saturday from noon until 7pm
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