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National Educational Services presses on in ‘balancing act’

National Educational Services Co. Ltd has been in existence for over 25 years and sells a wide array of books and stationery. Photo: VINO
Explaining some of the challenges that have faced the store over the years, Managing Director L. Allen Wheatley said it has been a business that has had its ups and downs, competitors come and go and obviously now with Kindles and online services it’s even more challenging so you have to be more creative, balancing your products. Photo: VINO
Explaining some of the challenges that have faced the store over the years, Managing Director L. Allen Wheatley said it has been a business that has had its ups and downs, competitors come and go and obviously now with Kindles and online services it’s even more challenging so you have to be more creative, balancing your products. Photo: VINO
The Managing Director expressed that the crux of the store’s business outside of the beginning of the academic school year has been based on sales of stationery and children’s books. Photo: VINO
The Managing Director expressed that the crux of the store’s business outside of the beginning of the academic school year has been based on sales of stationery and children’s books. Photo: VINO
Some of the items on sale at the National Educational Services Co. Ltd store. Photo: VINO
Some of the items on sale at the National Educational Services Co. Ltd store. Photo: VINO
Some of the items on sale at the National Educational Services Co. Ltd store. Photo: VINO
Some of the items on sale at the National Educational Services Co. Ltd store. Photo: VINO
Some of the items on sale at the National Educational Services Co. Ltd store. Photo: VINO
Some of the items on sale at the National Educational Services Co. Ltd store. Photo: VINO
Some of the items on sale at the National Educational Services Co. Ltd store. Photo: VINO
Some of the items on sale at the National Educational Services Co. Ltd store. Photo: VINO
Some of the items on sale at the National Educational Services Co. Ltd store. Photo: VINO
Some of the items on sale at the National Educational Services Co. Ltd store. Photo: VINO
Some of the items on sale at the National Educational Services Co. Ltd store. Photo: VINO
Some of the items on sale at the National Educational Services Co. Ltd store. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – National Educational Services Co. Ltd has been in existence for over 25 years and sells a wide array of books and stationery. Because of the family oriented ownership of the store, there is a homely and familiar feel for shoppers who frequent the stores' aisles.

Managing Director L. Allen Wheatley explained that the store has a staff complement of six persons, three of whom are full time. Located at the Road Reef Plaza on the outskirts of Road Town, the store is open six days a week from 8A.M.-6P.M.

While there have been changes over the years, customers can more often expect to see the same faces of staff members with each passing year, adding a level of comfort and familiarity to the store’s brand. “The nucleus has been the same for over ten years and more,” Wheatley said.

Pricing is done against the backdrop that persons have the option to download books, buy online or even go online, “so you have a lot of competitors to deal with so it really is a balancing act,” Wheatley said.

Usually, a back to school sale is in place during the month of August of each year but due to unforeseen circumstances, he related, the sale was not done this year.

“What we do have,” Wheatley informed, “is a standing programme for our frequent shoppers whereby those individuals earned a Reader’s Card and that Reader’s Card entitled you to five percent off textbooks [and] ten percent off everything else in the store all year round, except when we’re doing sales.”

Additional challenges have also presented themselves this year in the form of late orders for textbooks from public and private schools. Textbooks are sold on a wholesale basis for the Elmore Stoutt High School while orders are filled from other schools for the start of each term.

Explaining some of the challenges that have faced the store over the years, Wheatley said, “It’s been a business that has had its ups and downs, we’ve had competitors come and go and obviously now with Kindles and online services it’s even more challenging so you have to be more creative, balancing your products.”

He stated though, that as long as the family has the capacity, the business will be continued given the fact that there is a legacy of education within the family and respect for the vision that his father, Dr Charles Wheatley, had begun.

The Managing Director was in high praise of the staff of the store and indicated that this has been one of the secrets to its longevity. “We’ve had very good staff retention over the years. Some of our younger staff members have been with us from the time they left high school until now. We have a good relationship with them and I think that’s a very important part of why the business has continued to really flourish.”

The Managing Director expressed that the crux of the store’s business outside of the beginning of the academic school year has been based on sales of stationery and children’s books.

“Children’s books have really grown over the last ten years or so because you find a lot of people are really focusing on their children’s ability to read and comprehend things,” he said.

Wheatley thanked the VI community for the support that they have given to the store over the years, especially after its move some five years ago from its previous location in Road Town where the National Bank of the Virgin Islands is now located.

“A lot of people have followed us… and the business has still been able to survive,” he said, “people have really supported us no matter where we’ve had to move and hopefully within the next few years we will be back in the vicinity of town.”

The store is also involved in a joint partnership pilot project with the East End Methodist Church wherein they are co-sponsoring an after school programme which he hoped would be spread throughout the Territory.

According to Wheatley, some of the companies affiliated with his firm, Phoenix Consulting, are also involved in the pilot project and the programme seeks to focus on subjects such as English, Math and reading initially. He also stated that there is no limit to the age range, therefore the initiative is open to both secondary and high school students.

The programme, which is being done free of charge, is slated to begin in October and will be facilitated through a combination of retired and current teachers, as well as persons within the community that have the necessary skills base to assist in the various subject areas. "It's something to give back to the community," Wheatley stated.

10 Responses to “National Educational Services presses on in ‘balancing act’”

  • yellow (05/09/2013, 08:17) Like (13) Dislike (0) Reply
    Dem tings too expensive boss but dem got good tings
  • Concerned (05/09/2013, 08:30) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
    Yes congrats and all, but every year is the same thing, you going there and cant find text books for your children! They need some competition!
    • @ concerned (05/09/2013, 08:53) Like (4) Dislike (11) Reply
      Hush your jealous backside what they aint have they can order
    • Upset Parent (05/09/2013, 09:14) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      that's because the schools do not put in their order for the books that they need for their school especially Enis Adams, every year is the same thing just siok of them.
  • parent (05/09/2013, 15:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    good job Allen did not know the store was round for soooo long!
  • $$$ (05/09/2013, 21:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

    Dem need do better with their prices especially for people who have things hard....they just ridiculous with some of those prices.

  • usa (06/09/2013, 13:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Allah be with you Allen
  • VG Princess (09/09/2013, 18:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Wishing you continual success.


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