Sales, business events aim to provide boost for local retailers

By Francesca Gardner

15 November 2022

Woman takes picture in front of backdrop
Camana Bay's 15-year anniversary served as a backdrop to this year's Shoppers Night Out event. — Photo: Davion Cotterell

Many Camana Bay-based retailers participated in the 10th-annual Shoppers' Night Out on 20 Oct., an event aimed at boosting foot traffic and buzz around Town Centre as many small businesses continue to recover from an unpredictable two and a half years.

“Those events have proven to be very, very successful," said Nicola de Lima, Founder and Co-owner of Cayman Fashion Group, which operates several retail shops in Camana Bay. "It brings a lot of people who have never visited Camana Bay to Camana Bay. It's actually one of my biggest nights of the year in terms of sales and I attribute that to just having new people."

It's not just Shoppers' Night Out. Over the years, events like the Island Living Show, Small Business Expo, LiveWell, Sidewalk Sale and the Builder's Expo have also been held at Camana Bay.

White man smiles at camera
Red Sail Sports Retail Manager Jim Beisel says events like Shoppers' Night Out are invaluable for local businesses. — Photo: Davion Cotterell

Over at Red's Emporium, Red Sail Sports Retail Manager Jim Beisel said events like these go a long way in boosting business.

“Red’s Emporium would never be able to afford the amount of advertising it takes to draw the thousands of customers at one time with an event such as Shoppers' Night Out," he said. "Having the support of Camana Bay with their marketing and event professionals willing to do all they can to create the excitement for this event is priceless."

It's an especially important time for businesses that continue to face obstacles following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Woman smiles at camera
Eclipze Hair Design & Day Spa Owner Darla Dilbert says small businesses welcome events like Shoppers' Night Out, particularly after the past two years. — Photo: Davion Cotterell

"The cost of doing business has gone up in most areas and has been really tough on small businesses," said Darla Dilbert, owner of Eclipze Hair Design & Day Spa. "Rent and electrical expenses just to name a few. Now we also have to take pensions into account on top of it all."

Beisel echoed those sentiments, underscoring the challenges faced by businesses across several industries.

"Our challenges were not much different than other companies on the island going through a pandemic," he said. "Unpredictable revenue streams, staffing issues, unexpected added costs to do business, how to find and get new merchandise on island."

Now small business owners are also trying to focus on the opportunities they can find while slowly coming out of the drawbacks they have been facing. There's optimism as Cayman approaches its first tourism high season without COVID-19 restrictions.

"[It's all about] return footfall and so an event like Shoppers' Night Out proves to be extremely, extremely critical,” de Lima said.

This article was featured in the November 2022 print edition of Camana Bay Times.

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