Minister Wilson: Shop Local Campaign

November 25, 2010

Yesterday [Nov 25] Minister Kim Wilson gave a statement in the Senate on the ‘Shop Local’ campaign, saying the message “it conveys to consumers, that they need to spend their dollars in the local economy.”

The Minister said that September marked the eighteenth consecutive month of retail sales decline, with building materials, motor vehicles and apparel reporting the largest year-over-year percentage declines.

She concluded by saying “More than any other time in our history…we… Bermudians, need to be the sustainers of our economy by spending our dollars wisely, right here at home in support of our retail sector.”

Minister Kim Wilson’s full statement follows below:

Madam President, following on from the recent launch of the “Shop Local” campaign, I am obliged to report on the importance of the campaign message and the relevance of the campaign to the local economy.

The Shop Local campaign is a partnership between Bermuda Small Business Development Corporation and the Chamber of Commerce. It is an evolution of the familiar “Buy Bermuda” campaign that the Chamber of Commerce has supported over the past several years.

Madam President, Shop Local is a simple message, yet it has a profound meaning. It conveys to consumers, that they need to spend their dollars in the local economy.

Madam President, during the first nine months of this year, the value and volume of retail sales declined every month when compared to 2009. In fact, the month of September marked the eighteenth consecutive month of decline. This represented a drop of $5.2 million or 5.9 per cent, when compared with the level recorded in September 2009. Retailers of building materials, motor vehicles and apparel reported the largest year-over-year percentage declines. While we don’t have the benefit of the figures for October as yet, I am advised that the declining trend associated with retail sales conditions remained relatively unchanged during the period.

Honourable members will know that retail sales indicators are an important economic indicator. If retail sales growth is stalled or slowing, this means consumers are not spending at previous levels. It is important that the community is aware that personal consumption plays a vital role in the health of the economy.

More than any other time in our history…we… Bermudians, need to be the sustainers of our economy by spending our dollars wisely, right here at home in support of our retail sector.

The people who work in this sector are not strangers to us.

They are our neighbors… they are our aunts… our uncles… our brothers… sisters… mothers and fathers… they are our community… they are our families, and we must give them the support they need not only during this holiday season… but beyond.

Many of our local retailers, from Court Street’s Economic Empowerment Zone, to Front Street, St. George’s, Somerset and locations in between, have stocked their shelves with a variety of innovative merchandise at competitive prices and in many cases, prices comparable to the Unites States; our failure to support our retailers during this the most important shopping season of the year for many retailers could have devastating consequences for Bermuda generally.

Madam President, as the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, I am urging all Bermudians to join me this holiday season and Shop Local.

Thank you Madam President.

Read More About

Category: All, News

Comments (8)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. observer says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I would shop locally if I could afford to. A large percentage of Bermudians are too poor to shop for anything beyond necessities, and campaigns to buy locally won’t change that. If the government wants to increase spending, they need to look at options other than asking people nicely to go spend money.
    But then we’re so broke from years of Dr. Brown’s rule that they can’t afford the tax cuts that would encourage spending…so where do we go from here?

  2. Triangle Drifter says:

    Amen Observer. After the massive self indulgence, world tours, unaccountability, huge waste & mismanagement if this PLP government, especially during the Brown regime, who can give anything that comes out of the mouth of a PLP Minister any believability?

    Businesses have for many years pleaded, through the Chamber of Commerce, for tax relief. Governmment, including UBP Governments, have been warned that the time would come when there would be consumer revolt. It has come to a point where we only buy what we have to on Island.

    A good start, IMO, would be to do away with the customs duty, paid at import, & go with a point of sale tax eliminating the cost of financing the duty. It might also eliminate a sizable number of Government Customs jobs saving the taxpayer millions a year.

  3. Laughable says:

    I Understand the importance of shopping locally, and believe me I would love to do it. But when I go to Pheonix in town during my lunch hour to get an idea of what is there for my kids and I see a toy there for $159 that costs $59 on amazon or Toys R us…what do you expect me to do? $40 dollars for a Barbie doll? Are you kidding me? I am working my tail off every day for less and less money and a campaign for local spending is not going to suddenly put more money in my bank account and allow me to shop here. it is really ridiculous. Shopkeepers have to help us if they want us to help them. Government has to help them so they can afford to lower their prices. it is a complicated cycle but putting the pressure on the working people to fix it is just wrong in my eyes.

    I will not be buying Bermuda. I would love to, but it is just not going to happen.

  4. Sara says:

    I hope the retailers and government see just how bad the attitudes of consumers have gotten over the years. You’re too late with your cries and pleas. People can’t afford wants here, ONLY needs. Retailers have priced themselves out of the market much like the hotels. The only thing they can do is lower the prices to stimulate spending. This is the ONLY thing that will work, and after two years of retail slumping, I think the retailers know this.

  5. Sunshine says:

    Kim Wilson – cut the crap. I don’t even know what else to say because it’s just a big waste of time. The prices r SICK and the selection is GARBAGE!

  6. LA says:

    V Tech Child’s game cartridge @ Phoenix Toys $68.00

    the same V Tech Child’s game cartridge @ &14.99

    one doesn’t need a Doctorate to figure out what option i went with.

  7. Dee says:

    Agree with all of the above comments. I thought it laughable the other day when, in a letter to the Editor, the managing director of the Irish Linen Shop was encouraging Bermudians to shop locally and pointing out all the advantages of doing so. She lost me when she wrote that she was going to treat herself to that pair of Jimmy Choos at Lusso because she deserved them!!! She also suggested that others do the same. I wanted to say – Honey the only time I go into Lusso is to get to and from Marks and Spencer! I live in the real world!

  8. Cheap Airfare for the Win says:

    I can speak for myself, my family and my circle of friends. We do not shop local any time of the year except for essentials or must haves and we especially do not shop local around the Holidays. Overseas we have endless options, variety and choices, lower cost, better customer service, time off the rock. Not to mention great food, great entertainment and some new experiences.

    I do not miss the days of shopping at Gibbons Co. only to get snarled at by sales reps and then, oh yeah – buying a shirt from the rack, 5 racks, 5 designs, 5 of each size only to go out the next night and see two other dudes wearing the same shirt.

    Wow. I think it’s time to fly again real soon. See you on Jetblue, AA, BA, Westjet, Continental, Delta, US Airways, Air Canada or whatever works for you.

    Horray for all the new stores that have opened up these last few weeks, Premier cutting ribbons, etc. Just in the for Christmas shopping. Only the strong will survive.