Stores and banks closed

Supermarkets and banks in Cayman will be closed Friday but some hardware stores will open for a few hours for last-minute hurricane supplies.

Foster’s, Kirk and Hurley’s will close all day today, as well as Cost-U-Less and Priced Right.

Woody Foster of Foster’s Food Fair-IGA said stock at the shop was ‘in good shape’ and by yesterday morning there had not been a huge run on supplies by the public. He said the stores would remain open till 11pm last night, but would close today.

Nick Holazes, general manager of Kirk supermarket, said the store would remain open late, possibly until midnight, depending on demand from customers. ‘We will accommodate our customer this evening, but we are closing all day Friday so our employees will have some time to prepare for the storm.’

Raul Mena, manager of Hurley’s, said the store had not experienced any panicked buying and ‘it’s been pretty calm’ but he said it was likely there would be a rush later yesterday.

The shops would determine later, once an all clear is announced, what hours they would open on Saturday.

Banks on the island were also planning to close for the entire day Friday. Butterfield Bank, Cayman National Bank, FirstCaribbean International Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and Scotiabank remained open for normal business hours yesterday.

Demand at hardware stores on the island was high yesterday with people queuing up outside AL Thompson’s before the store opened at 7am. Creative director Patricia Anne Rice said the store would stay open until, and probably beyond its usual 5.30pm closing time yesterday and ‘would play it by ear’ on Friday to decide how long it would remain open in the morning. ‘We will accommodate our customers as best we can,’ she said, adding that the store was packed throughout the day yesterday.

Cox Lumber planned to remain open as long as possible today to cater to customers, although would scale down on staff who lived farther away throughout the day.

‘We’re going to play it by eye. We’ve got normal opening hours today (Thursday) and tomorrow we’ll open at the normal time at 7am and then see how the day goes,’ said Brian Burke, retail merchandising manager at Cox.

AL Thompson will also open today at its normal opening time of 8am and planned to stay open until mid-day, weather permitting.

Yesterday the hardware store still have a good supply of most hurricane items including stoves and generators, but had run out of D batteries and was running low on propane tanks.

Throughout the day, customers were snapping up plywood, stoves, batteries and lamps at all the stores.