Finishing off a little bit of last minute Christmas shopping in Avarua yesterday afternoon were Antony Tau and Teare Tau Gifford. The two live in Auckland, New Zealand, and are visiting Rarotonga on holiday. 22122344
Businesses are welcoming ‘steady’ trading going into Christmas.
Cook Islands Chamber of
Commerce chief executive Rebecca Tavioni said it had been a “positive” week for
the island’s businesses, after the previous week’s problems caused by lack of
petrol for much of Rarotonga.
The container ships Imua and
Liloa both arrived in the past week, bringing fuel and products bound for local
stores. The fuel ship Media also arrived this week.
“We’ve had two big container
ships arrive within a very short space of time, one after another,” Tavioni
“The port has been good in
extending their opening hours, because there’s a lot of stuff coming off those
containers that needs to go immediately on to the shelves.”
Tavioni said the feeling had
been more “buoyant” compared with Christmas last year, with the Covid
restrictions out of the way.
“There are more people who can
travel here, and there are more people who have actually been able to take
holidays,” she said.
Cook Islands Trading
Corporation (CITC) general manager Gaye Whitta said the feeling had been more
positive this Christmas.
“I think business has been
steady,” Whitta said.
“Everyone is a bit more
relaxed and low key this year.”
Wigmore’s Superstore general
manager Michelle Wigmore said it had been a “solid” leadup to Christmas.
“Everyone is leaving things
until the last minute,” Wigmore said. “It’s been busy across the board.”
IDCK manager Rachael Best said
it had been a “challenging” week for many businesses, due to the late arrival
“We were really worried it
wouldn’t arrive before Christmas, but fortunately it did, so it’s been a race
against time to get all the stock on the shelves,” Best said.
“People are spending money,
just not as much as they might have in the past.”
Best said it had been a
“difficult” couple of years for retail, as they were coming out of a Covid-19-dominated
“It’s been pretty low key this
year, I think a lot of customers are appreciative of how difficult it’s been
for businesses over the past two years,” she said.
“There have been a lot of
challenges, and people can relate to that.”
Fletcher Melvin, of Island
Craft, said things had been steady and was pleased stock arrived in time.
“That was a relief,” Melvin
said. “But overall, it’s been much better than the past two Christmases.”
Melvin agreed freight had been
an issue in the lead up to Christmas.
South Seas manager Nick Dun said
consumer confidence appeared to be on the rise compared to previous Christmas.
“There appears to be a lot
more spending in this week lead up,” Dun said.
“There has been the bottleneck
of shipping to deal with, but that usually happens in the week before
Dun said the business had been
able to secure most of the required stock, but there were still supply chain
issues with certain products.
“It’s something that all
businesses in the Cook Islands are having to deal with to some degree,” he