It is the most wonderful time of the year and, for Cayman’s retailers, also the most profitable.
A recent U.S. study rated this holiday season as worth $1 trillion in sales.
Cayman 27’s Caroline James has more.
Footfall in downtown George Town on Thursday (27 December) – even two days after the big day – still looked encouraging for the retailers who line the waterfront.
For family run jeweller’s, Rocky’s Diamond Gallery, Christmas sales were up more than a quarter in comparison to an average day’s trade; good news for co-owner Rakesh Baxani, the eponymous Rocky.
“If I was to take sales from just residents, I did see an increase of 25-30 percent this year, just from my residents sales,” he explained.
For Mr. Baxani, that Christmas boost was the result of a year of hard work.
But he admitted he does have some tactics to up the festive ante:
“I do have a lot of specials at Christmas, I do have free gifts on purchase,” he revealed.
But this Christmas story is not quite that simple.
Sales are down in a like-on-like comparison to 2017 at Rocky’s; weather over the past months has seen cruise ships docking away from George Town and that has hit businesses like Rocky’s hard, although he said he remains optimistic.
“I am increasing my budget to be positive and do better this season, so I’m positive it’ll be good, even if it’s not as great as last year,” Mr. Baxani stated.
In spite of this, spreading the joy – and the profits – is something he believes is important.
He has set aside around $3000 to give back this Christmas time.
“Every year, I have a campaign called ‘give a gift that matters’, so last year we gave a few thousand dollars to Meals on Wheels and I have a cheque ready now for the Cayman Islands Veterans Association for this year,” Mr. Baxani disclosed.
While recent weather may have made it more difficult for cruise ships to dock in George Town, 2018 has been a record-breaking year for visitors in Cayman.