Retail bid to cash in on Cup Match derailed
Plans to cash in on a surge of Cup Match visitors to St George's were hindered by misinformation from cruise ship staff, according to several shops in the East End.
Kelly Diel, of Seaglass Art on Water Street, said that while she and other businesses remained open over the holiday, cruise passengers had been told by ship staff that the stores in the town would be closed.
“I had people coming by saying that people on the cruise ship, the cruise directors, had told them on Wednesday night that everywhere was going to be closed in St George's and Hamilton and they should just stay in Dockyard,” she said.
“The cruise directors misled all of the passengers. Thursday wasn't too bad, but Friday was dreadful. We really need to do something about it, otherwise what's the point of staying open? People were walking in and asking why we were open.
“On the upside we had tonnes of locals up here because of the game.”
Terry Roberts, of Paradise Gift Shop, said he had also been told by customers that the cruise ships had steered visitors away from the town, but the visitors that did show up made the decision to stay open worthwhile.
“It was a little quiet but it was worth being here,” he said. “All of the visitors that we had come in seemed to be grateful that we were open because they had been told on the cruise ship that everywhere in St George's would be closed. It's unfortunate, and it's not the first time it has happened.
“Most of the shops did open over the holiday, although a few did close early on Friday. The visitors were happy to see that the shops were open.”
Meanwhile, Christine Harrell, at Whistlin' Frog, said that the weekend proved something of a mixed bag.
“Thursday was good; Friday was a bit slow because of the cruise ships leaving,” she said. “It was worth it staying open on Thursday, but not Friday.
Asked if she would keep the store open next Cup Match, she said: “I would give it a try, depending on the cruise ship schedule.
“For my shop, it's more about the tourist business. I guess we will have to see.”
Cathy Roberts, of Bermuda Gifts and Linens, agreed that Thursday had been the busier day of the holiday, but she had hoped more visitors would have made it to the shop overall.
Alfonso Harris, of Churchills, said that business was pretty good over the holiday, although not as good as he had hoped.
“It was not too bad,” he said. “I thought it would be busier, but it was definitely better than being closed.
“We might have over-ordered a bit, but I'm not too concerned about that.”
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