Traders in Lagos have been lamenting over the drastic low patronage of items and products at their stores even as Christmas season is fast approaching.
Investigation by Business247 News Online shows that there has been a sharp decline in trading activities in Lagos Island, Ikeja and Iyana Ipaja and other areas known for high trading activities in the time of Christmas and New Year celebrations.
A cross section of Lagos traders who spoke to our Correspondent in separate interviews on Thursday said that businesses like packaging of hamper, selling of Christmas clothes and shoes and many other businesses are not attracting buyers, attributing the low patronage to economic recession.
Mrs Bose Adeleye, a trader who packages hampers for sale at the Apongbon market in Lagos, said that nobody had come to ask her to put together any hamper.
“Last year was better. We did not sell much but people were coming, little by little, to demand for little baskets and not so big ones.
“This year is terrible; I have not sold any hamper, you can see empty baskets waiting to be filled.
“We do it when people order for it,’’ she said.
Also, Mrs Iyabo Ajayi, of `Mama Olawale Stores’ at Balogun market also in Lagos, said that people were shying away because of paucity of funds in the country.
“Corporate bodies and individuals ought to be ordering for hampers by now, but we have not seen any.
“I even sent out proposals and reduced the prices but they have not answered me.
“It is really tough,’’ she said.
Mrs Titi Akinwunmi, who sells Ankara, lace and other clothing materials at Ikeja, also mentioned that selling of clothes has become “a no go area’’ this year because it would be exorbitant for people.
“It has become an essential commodity because things have gone up.
Oleka said that sellers were losing out because this is the period they expect to make huge profit from hampers.
“You can see that we are sitting down doing nothing and watching people wandering in the market,’’ she said.
Also a civil servant, Mr Tony Udeh, said that parents would have been buying Christmas clothes for their children but no money. “The economic recession is biting hard on people,’’ Udeh said.
Mr Emmanuel Bassey, an artisan, said that he was concerned with how to buy rice and other food stuffs this yuletide for his family, not clothes’.