Categorized | National News

Vendors Ready for Back to School

With the reopening of school less than three weeks away, vendors are lined up at RM Bailey Park with loads of school supplies ready for sale. 

The vendors have paid a fee of nearly $500 to set up shop selling uniforms, underwear, hair accessories and schoolbags.

Despite being just a stone throw away from Kelly’s and John Bull, Evans Uniform Marketing Manager Khashan Culmer believes her store, along with the other vendors can compete with the big department store.

“We don’t bring in anything from foreign. One of the things you could find with jumpers and skirts that are brought in from China is that after a few washes they shrink. Also our prices are what differentiate from our competitors,” Culmer said. 

“One of the things our customers say to us year after year is that the skirt and jumper was already pressed and can be worn on the first day of school.”

Although Culmer acknowledges that Bahamians and the government have started to support small owned local businesses, Anna Sophia Armbrister, owner of Anna’s Pleasure, believes Bahamian’s are apprehensive about buying from vendors.

“A lot of them will come and say, ‘Is this bag real’ and then I’ll say to them, ‘Did you ask John Bull if their bags are real’ because you can’t tell the difference,” Armbrister said. 

“Why would you come to me as a small business person and ask me if my bag is real, but you would not to Land and pay whatever they charge. They would not query the big merchandise prices.”

Some school supplies are duty free, but there is still the 12 percent value added tax that vendors, like the owner of “I Want It,” is feeling the pinch from.

“It affects us because we obviously, our inventories are imported. So it would affect us in that we pay VAT on everything and we import,” the owner of I Want It said.

“We try not to pass that on to the customer. That’s something that we absorb in cost of our business without passing it on to customer.”  

Written by Jones Bahamas

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