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Regional News of Friday, 18 December 2020

Source: GNA

Coronavirus impacts on Christmas sales

A file photo of Ghanaian traders A file photo of Ghanaian traders

Traders and shoppers in the Central Business District of Accra have ignored the COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols as they struggle to engage in brisk business for Christmas.

Most traders and customers, pedestrians, as well as window shoppers the Ghana News Agency, encountered on Friday during a tour of the Central Business District were without nose masks.

Some of the shoppers were using the nose masks while others have them on their chins. Hand washing was absent as most of the shops removed the veronica buckets in front of their shops.

All the safety protocols of the World Health Organisation and the Ghana Health Service and the Government COVID-19 preventive measures have been ignored at these markets.

Scores of traders at the Okaishie and Makola markets in Accra, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, were rather worried about the poor sales and have little or no concern at all about COVID-19 protocols.

They were frustrated that due to COVID-19 Christmas sales is very poor.

The traders in these markets attributed low patronage of Xmas products to the Coronavirus pandemic “There are lots of people moving from one shop to the other just watching and asking prices but not buying anything.”

Madam Adwoa Nyamekeye, a trader in beverages, said business had not been booming since the lockdown was lifted.

“We planned that things will be different during the weeks to Xmas but no, things are the same, people are not buying, our goods are locked up in our shops,” she said.

She said the approach of Christmas had not increased sales, unlike previous years where customers trooped in to purchase beverages to celebrate the festive season.

Madam Nyamekye said she expected more customers to purchase her products since it was a festive season but it had been otherwise.

“I hoped that business will pick up this week and early next week just before the festive day.”

Ms. Matilda Akuorkor, a trader in provisions and beverages, said business had been sluggish after “we resumed from the COVID-19 lockdown in the Greater Accra Metropolitan and other areas."

“Business has been very slow this year. We don’t see the impact of the festive season on sales. Our businesses have been suffering since the onset of the Coronavirus which has caused a decrease in the patronage of our products.”

She said she made lots of sales before, during, and after Christmas season last year, however, this year was nothing to write home about.

She, however, attributed low purchase of products to the just-ended elections.

On the high prices of goods, she attributed it to the lengthy procedures and restrictions involved in importing goods into the country since the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Ms. Akuorkor indicated that the increase in prices of products also made most customers reluctant to purchase products and described the situation as frustrating.

Mrs. Felicia Mensah, a hairdresser at the Rawlings Park in Accra, expressed similar grievances and stated that the pandemic had the worst impact on her business.

“This year has not been the best year at all. Last year, we were much occupied with work because people were patronizing our services. But now, everyone is idle because there is no work. Customers are being careful because of the pandemic.

“As a hairdresser, the business would have been thriving from November but this year due to the COVID-19 the situation is different,” she said.

Interestingly enough, other traders revealed that business has been booming for them despite the existence of the pandemic.

Patricia Enkukume, a Christmas decorations accessories seller, said business had been flourishing despite the pandemic.

She said even though the elections deterred most people from purchasing, things are beginning to return to normal.

Mrs. Enkukume explained that, however, after the elections, the business had been more successful as customers trooped in to purchase.

“I also think the Coronavirus pandemic is also a contributing factor to low patronage from customers but all the same business has been booming for me,” she said.