Business News of Thursday, 27 December 2018
Aside the sweet memories Christmas comes with for families, friends, and loved ones, the Yuletide is a time traders and shop owners look forward to making big sales and going home with millions of cedis.
Consumers are expected to be merry; trooping to the various markets to make huge purchases on food items, gifts, among others.
Unfortunately, that is not the case for many retailers this festive season due to the low patronage of goods and services.
Traders at the Kaneshie Market have complained that 2018 Christmas has not been favourable because they have faced a toxic mix of rising cost which includes high labour and tariffs weighing on their gains.
A vegetable seller who spoke to GhanaWeb said the prices of commodities have shot up making it difficult to maintain the prices for her products.
According to her she used to purchase a box of cabbage for about GH¢200 some years back but now, the price ranges between GH¢700 to GH¢900 per basket.
“…Because of that I have to increase the amount per item. Now this tiny cabbage I used to sell at GH¢2 cedis now goes for GH¢10. This drives a lot of customers away and at the end of the day, just a little or no profit is made at all.”
“I’m pleading with producers (farmers) to reduce the cost of their goods so that we can also make some money to cater for ourselves and family,” she added.
A footwear vendor said he used to make between GH¢800 to GH¢1000 sales per day but complained he’s hardly made up to GH¢500 the past days.
Others blamed the poor patronage on government saying that things have become even more difficult despite the president’s utterances that his administration has worked on strengthening the fundamentals of the economy since he assumed power on January 7, 2017.
According to President Akufo-Addo, an improved macroeconomy “has resulted in the growing stability of the macro-economy and the cedi, reduction in inflation and interest rates.”
Traders, disagreeing with the above stated that times are difficult and although they anticipated high profit margins, they have been disappointed. Business owners complained terribly about how buyers are no more interested in procuring products.
Referring to the purchasing power of customers in previous years compared to now, “It’s either they ask for the price and then leave because they cannot afford it or they buy just an item and then that’s it. It wasn’t so at first. In the past years, you could have one customer buying more items. Sometimes we run out of stock before mid-day and restock immediately but now ‘no show’”.
They were, however, hopeful that things will get better during the New Year and the coming months.