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Traders Complain of Poor X’mas Sales

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Business centres are buzzing with traffic and you can see hundreds of rushing people walking on the streets―pushing, shoving and shouting.

This scene leaves first time shoppers and visitors a bit dazed when they hear that this much hustle and bustle has brought nothing but mere window shoppers.

The markets are packed with goods and people but this does not depict the sentiments of some traders and business gurus in the nation’s capital.

Some traders at the Makola and Kaneshie markets have expressed dissatisfaction with the consumer patronage of their goods as Christmas draws near.

In a survey conducted by the Publisher in Accra, Mawusi Dogbatse, a petty trader who deals in hampers and assorted drinks ―usually used as souvenirs during Christmas, said, nobody had passed by her stall and even if they did, it was just to ask of prices.

Mawusi looks on sadly as no customer approaches her stall
Mawusi looks on sadly as no customer approaches her stall

According to her, last year’s Christmas sale was more encouraging adding that, “by this time last year, I was busily wrapping hampers because the demand was high.”

Another trader Serwaa, who sells pastries was reluctant to speak with us; she said it was unnecessary since the information we sought was glaring at us in the face― “No market”.

As at the time of our visit, she had sold only GH¢30 worth of her items which she said was not enough to foot her expenses for the day.

She said, “we don’t sell but every day, they take 50pesewas from us as sale tickets. I won’t lie to you, even the 50pesewas, it is difficult for me to pay.”

The story was not different from that of Susan, Naa Ayeiley and Favour who were all dealers in Christmas paraphernalia and decorations.

They all concurred that sales were extremely low.

Season for Thieves

Abdul Farouk who sells toys said, “I am making money in the toy business this Christmas because parents are buying the toys for their children”.

However, Farouk’s headache was the risk that comes with the season as thieves and tricksters snaked through scores of genuine consumers to fulfil their sinister enterprises.

According to him, barely five minutes after the Publisher had arrived, a lady who had posed as buyer was caught stuffing her dress with some of his goods.

“So, in times like this, though the patronage is high, you must shine your eyes in order not lose valuables to thieves or receive counterfeit as payment,” Farouk said.

Kaneshie

Business activities looked active outside the Kaneshie shopping mall and on the foot bridge (which was dangerously packed) as customers were seen buying.

Traders within that area said patronage was okay however, the story inside the mall was very different.

Though the traders had displayed their goods, the mall was ‘dark’ and ‘dead’ to customers.

Lady Jay, dealer in various footwears said their only appeal to the government was to help them sack the traders on the foot bridge.

“…the task force should sack them from the bridge so that people can come to the mall to buy. We are paying rent, light bills and tax but we are not able to sell.”

GUTA’s Response

Meanwhile, the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has blamed the low patronage of goods and services on the present government.

According to the General Secretary of the Greater Accra Chapter of the association, Nana Opoku, “the current government is failing but they don’t want to accept it.”

He continued: “People’s trade are not being patronised, but you ask a politician now and he will tell you we are making progress and is a steady progress, this is bullshit.”

Nonetheless, some business men and women are hopeful that sales may improve since most Ghanaians were late shoppers.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com & Doreen Mensah (Intern)

 

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