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April 30, 2014
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Late opening pays off for Ita Burnett

Ita Burnett explains why late evenings are a good time for sales. - Contributed


Ita Burnett adjusts one of her outfits on a mannequin in front of her stall. - Contributed

At a time when most people in her sector are battling traffic to go home, Ita Burnett is busy making her way to work.

When most have arrived home and are ready to spend time with family and friends, Burnett is busy opening her clothing stall in the still-bustling Half-Way Tree. To many, this may seem surprising, especially since most businesses that sell clothes do so during the days. But for Burnett, this represents an opportunity to capitalise on peak business hours.

"When I open at 5 p.m., people stop and buy from me, because all the other places selling clothing downtown Kingston and here in Half-Way Tree are closed, so patrons come here. People going to parties come straight from work, and if they can't go home and change, they stop here. We open this time of the evening and sell up to after midnight," she explained.

"I find that selling clothing didn't do well during the days ... because the sun is very hot, people don't stop to look at what you are selling," Burnett said, opening her stall minutes after five.

The 60-year-old primarily sells female clothing and occasionally offers men's wear. She sources most of her fashions from overseas and makes purchases based on customers' requests.

In 2004, Burnett approached JN Small Business Loans to upgrade her clothing stock. Using her furniture as collateral, she received a loan from the country's premier microfinance agency and continues to use their services.

JNSBL's General Manager, Philip Bernard, commends Burnett on maintaining her business.

"She has been a loyal client over the years. The fact that she works odd hours and has built a customer base speaks volumes about her dedication to do well. I am truly proud of her efforts and her emphasis on customer service. We, therefore, hope her business will continue to grow and, we will offer her continued support when called upon," he said.

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