By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
The Bahamas Federation of Retailers (BFR) yesterday revealed multiple members will reach "the point of no return" and close permanently as early as this week unless curb-side restrictions are lifted.
Tara Morley, its co-president, told Tribune Business that the inability to generate sufficient cash flow to purchase and clear Christmas inventory, due to the Government's present COVID-19 measures, had pushed many merchants to the brink of closure with the festive season less than two months away.
Adding that retailers ranging from "long-standing businesses to entrepreneurial start-ups" had contacted the Federation in the past few days to warn they will cease operations unless the Government removes curb-side limitations this week, Ms Morley warned the situation threatened to create "an unfortunate amount of joblessness" headed into the Christmas period.
Festive sales often account for up to 40-50 percent of a retailer's annual business volumes, generating the cash flow and profits that help to carry them through the remainder of the year, but COVID-19 lockdowns, curfews and restrictions - coupled with depressed consumer spending - mean many will struggle to enjoy their traditional Christmas boost.
"As of today and yesterday, I have had several businesses write in from the Federation that said that unless an announcement is made this week with regard to the curb-side restriction, they will have to shutter their doors permanently. That means I have to furlough my staff and jobs are gone," Ms Morley told this newspaper. Read more >>