Christmas is over and the usual clatter and stress that comes with it has died a natural death leaving the streets empty and the stalls meh.
It was slow going in the markets when the PUBLISHER visited Makola and Abossey-Okai spare parts market to check on business activities.
From food to clothing’s to spare-parts, nothing much was happening.
The hundreds of rushing people who walked the streets―pushing, shoving and shouting had returned to wherever they came from. The markets are as dead as yesterday.
Traders and business moguls in the capital who had anticipated a boom in sales last year, have expressed disappointment at the current situation.
A market survey conducted by the PUBLISHER in Accra last Tuesday revealed that many traders may not be able to recoup their investments if sales do not improve in 2018.
According to Michael Ofori Atta, a tyre dealer at the Abossey Okai spare parts market, sales of his goods was nothing to be proud of since it had been impossible for him to pay off loans collected to improve or stock his shop.
He said; “I do not know about others but it did not go well for me and it will take God’s grace to sail through but I have hope.”
Mankind who also sell tyres reiterated the sentiments of Mr Ofori Attah adding that, he would be a liar to say that sales went well in 2017.
“Everything was in a mess and for those of us who had girlfriends attached to our wives, our girlfriends left us because we could not give them enough money,” he said.
Explaining why his business had not received any favours during the year, Mankind said the challenge had been from the harbours where he had to clear his goods.
He said last year, he had to pay more than double of what he had paid in 2016 just to clear his 27-footer container from the ports.
“Two years ago, I used close to GH¢18,000 to collect my goods but last year, I had to pay close to 40,000 to do so. The paperless thing is not working as people claim and the tax is just too much,” Mankind lamented.
Mankind’s submission however attracted a rather adverse response from his colleague tyre dealer, Akwasi CC― Abossey Okai Champion who said business had been exceptionally good for him in 2017.
According to the Abossey Okai Champion, others were complaining of low sales because they had refused to strategize and did not have the exact products that consumers wanted.
“Today is just the first working day of the year and I have sold goods worth GH¢1,000 this morning, people come to you and you tell them, you don’t have what they want, how can you make sales?” he asked showing our reporter a bundle of GH¢50 notes.
However, other tyre dealers speaking on the side-lines called Akwasi a blatant liar―generating a heated argument.
Still at the spare-parts market, Lardi, a dealer in car accessories said, it would be very difficult for him to do an assessment now.
“Last year business was slow because the money was not flowing as it should have…the change of government affected most businesses because they were introducing new policies, lots of contracts were suspended and awarded to different people…business never picked up for me because there wasn’t money in the system…it was a fluctuating business,” he explained.
Seasonal Trade is worthwhile
Business was however rewarding for some traders who sold during certain seasons.
A visit to some stationery dealers revealed that sales went up when schools reopened last year. These seasons they said were in January, May and September.
In March last year, towards the season of Easter, some business men and women said they had recorded good sales.
This reports however reflected in the submission of groceries and food stuff traders.
Madam Toyin a confectionary dealer said customers patronised her goods at all seasons.
“Me, my case is different. Last year, market was good for me…God has been faithful…everybody’s case is peculiar…I believe this year would be better,” she said.
Though seasonal trade was worthwhile for some people, Veronica who sells firecrackers said, she has recorded very low sales last year during the yuletides.
“Last year was not good because they did not patronise the firecrackers as they usually do. Even after the festive seasons, we still have a lot of products left unsold…if we had made sales, I would have told you…last year was disappointing…we hope for the best though,” she revealed.
By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ firstname.lastname@example.org