VAT increase impacts Independence sales


Tribune Business Reporter

The value-added tax (VAT) rate increase has affected consumer confidence and purchasing for this year's Independence celebrations, a well-known businessman has revealed.

Scott Farrington, president of Suntee Uniforms and Promotional Marketing, told Tribune Business that customer demand and sales remained high despite the impact from the increase to 12 percent VAT.

"Over the years, Suntee has built an amazing reputation for its authentically Bahamian Independence Day designs, so customer demand and sales remain high this year," Mr Farrington said. "Suntee's designs are always stylish, always unique - and most importantly - always Bahamian, and Bahamians appreciate these qualities.

"The increase of the VAT rate has affected consumer confidence and purchasing. Suntee has waived the full VAT on Independence apparel for the last week as a 'thank you' to our customers for supporting Suntee for 35 years. Independence is when Bahamians wave our flags and wear our Independence apparel to show our pride, strength and love for this country, and Suntee is proud to supply products."

The much anticipated Independence Collection from Bahari Bahamas has been released just in time for the 45th anniversary of Independence.

The Bahamian fashion brand, over the weekend, announced the the release of its 5th Independence Collection. "The inspiration for this year's collection came from us wanting to create a stylized-sketch aesthetic, and a collage of hand-drawn elements of flora, fauna, culture, maritime and national pride," said brand manager, Kyle Williams.

"Over the past five years, Bahamians have grown to expect a dynamic release from Bahari for the independence season. It's always an exciting time as Bahamians from all walks of life flood our three locations in support. This year Bahamians definitely started their Bahari shopping earlier than year's past; ensuring that they aren't met with empty shelves and sold out signs, as is often the case with new Bahari collections."


John says...

It may not be the 41/2 increase in VAT that is responsible for the fall off in the sale of Independence paraphernalia as much as it is a common dissatisfaction amongst Bahamians. Many find themselves NOT in a celebration mode because many of the issues and concerns they thought would’ve fallen away with the change in government are still on the front burner today. And many Bahamians find that their financial independence is being eroded away minute by minute, Day by day. Food prices continue to skyrocket and even though a barrel of oil is still around $70, gas prices are back up over $5.00 a gallon. And crime is still out of control. Young men are losing their lives same as before and the level of personal and property safety in the country is in question. So many Bahamians are asking ‘So what is there to celebrate?’ But some will have a change of spirit even at the last hour and find the mood and yes, the money to celebrate the country’s 45th Independence.

Posted 9 July 2018, 2:53 p.m. Suggest removal

birdiestrachan says...

It is the VAT increased that is costing Bahamians to spend less. Every dollar one spends
doc wants 12 cents even when one buy water, It is tough out there . The poor and middle class
will be hurt the most. but doc travels and enjoys himself.

Posted 9 July 2018, 3:56 p.m. Suggest removal

ThisIsOurs says...

Prices have gone up by as much as 25-50%. An apple that cost 99c pre increase is now priced in the foodstore at 1.67. A four pack of chicken breasts priced at $6-7 pre increase is now $10. Cereal is up one dollar. Retailers have taken the opportunity to hike prices across the board. And It's not over yet. Now that the price for the basic inputs, I.e., "food" have increased so dramatically, (every business owner have to eat right) I don't believe we've seen the end of the full effect of this nonsensical ill thought out VAT rise

Posted 9 July 2018, 4:19 p.m. Suggest removal

ohdrap4 says...

the babanas were 99c + vat pre-hike, for a total 1.07--- perpond

yesterday they were being sold for 1.07 plus vat. -- per pound.

as for chicken breasts, you need to wait until the chicken from brazil goes on sale,

Posted 9 July 2018, 4:29 p.m. Suggest removal

ThisIsOurs says...

Remember the great lengths they went to to explain that y'all so silly, the VAT rise wasnt a 60% increase ? Looks like the foodstores didn't get the message

Posted 9 July 2018, 10:02 p.m. Suggest removal

ohdrap4 says...

i spoke too soon, this morning the bananas sell for 1.20 per pound.

it is not new shipment as that only arrives tomorrow and goes on sale thursday.

Posted 10 July 2018, 11:06 a.m. Suggest removal

ThisIsOurs says...

Lol. It's not going to stop. Now the restaurants, lunch vendors have to add this into their cost PLUS 12%

Posted 10 July 2018, 1:01 p.m. Suggest removal

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