Traders: Christmas sales appaling

Economic hardships for majority lower and middle income Tanzanians is said to have affected both buyers and sellers of holiday essentials, including clothes and decorations.

A survey by The Citizen in some major markets in the city revealed that most shops were empty as compared to previous years as sellers complained of low customer flow.

Ms Neema Kweka, a clothes vendor at Mwenge told The Citizen that she had served fewer customers compared to previous years.

She noted also that most of those visiting her shop were leaving without purchasing anything.

“Perhaps because of the increasing economic difficulties, people don’t see the importance of clothes because they need to purchase food for their families. I always thought that trade in children’s clothing paid during the Christmas season, but this time it is different,” she lamented.

This paper also discovered that prices for children’s clothes in most shops in the city cost between Sh20, 000 and Sh60,000. However, most  kids’ clothes at Mwenge were sold around Sh38, 000.

Another trader at Manzese market, Ms Mariam Mkumbo, said 2013 lacked new cloth models which in previous years had been a source of attraction to buyers.

“Sometimes, people expect to see a new fashion especially for their children, however, this year suppliers have no good ones. This might have contributed to the dwindling business,” Ms Mkumbo said.

However, Mr Etikody Chogo, a trader in decorations at Mwenge said in previous years from December 15 to 24 he tended to be busy the whole day, but till yesterday he could only sell an average of 10 Christmas trees in a day. To him this was very unusual.

On the other hand, Ms Aisha Said, a buyer visiting Manzese market, said the prices were too high to be afforded by many. She said the rising cost of living excluded many from purchasing clothes.

“I’m here to buy dresses for my children, to make them feel like others but the prices are too high. Last year, I got clothes for only Sh15, 000 but today none is sold at less than sh20, 000,” she said.
Source: The Citizen, reported from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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