Yuletide: Lagos Traders Lament Poor Sales

small business traders

Inflation in Nigeria hits 17.33 per cent

Traders at eight major markets in Lagos complained over poor sales, barely 14 days to Christmas festivities, a survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reveals.

The traders disclosed on Thursday that sales had never been this bad at Christmas season, expressing hope that sales could improve from December 15.

“The poor sales have made traders look like observers in the market because they watch customers do window shopping, Mrs. Latifat Ojikutu, the Iyaloja of Balogun Market, said.

“Sales have been so poor, customers just come to the market for sight-seeing. Customers complain of no money, while traders have been turned to observers or bench warmers in the market.

“Business has never been this low; it is a far cry from what we experienced last year.

Mrs. Folashade Balogun, a trader at the market said: “we see people walk around the market pricing goods but not buying anything. It is so painful.

“No money in circulation, sales have been very low,” Balogun said.

Mr. Femi Odusanya, Public Relations Officer of the Mile 12 Market, explained that although sales were low now, it would increase from next week.

Odusanya said that prices of tomatoes and pepper for now were high but might reduce by next week.

Odusanya said that the traders envisaged reduction because of the large harvest of tomatoes and pepper for the festive season.

“Beginning from next week (Dec. 15) tomatoes and pepper, there will be high influx of these items into Lagos. The tomatoes and pepper were planted for the Xmas season,” he said.

At the Mile 12 Market, a basket of tomato now goes for N8,000 as against N4,000 it sold last week, while tatashe (a type of pepper) now cost N6,000 as against N4,500.

A carton of frozen turkey goes for N7,300 while chicken cost N6,400. A 100kg bag of groundnut, sorghum and soya beans remained the same at N17,000, N7,000 and N13,500, respectively.

At Balogun Market, the prices of children’s clothing and ladies’ shoes increased by at least 25 percent from their prices some weeks ago.

A pair of kid shoes, which sold for N3,000, now sells for N4,000, while a girl’s quality gown goes for N7,000 from N5,000.

Human hair extension sells for N4,500, from N3,500 per pack while synthetic hair extension increased from N900 to N1,300 per pack.

Similarly, ladies heels and wedge shoes which ranged from N5,000 now cost N6,500, while beauty products also had marginal increment of N300.

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Also, a chain accessory which goes for N2,500 has increased to N3,500, while a pair of ladies and children’s jeans increased to N2,200 from N1,700.

Mrs. Abimbola Durosimi, a dealer in children’s clothes at Docemo Market on Lagos Island attributed the price change to increase in the exchange rate.

“The exchange rate has increased from what we use to buy. More so, it’s not readily available as most of us buy from the black market. “Based on this, the difference will definitely reflect in the prices of the items,” Durosimi said.

The survey revealed that sellers of hampers or gift packs were most affected by the poor sales.

“I have sold only three packs. Look at your time; it is about 2 p.m.

“The same is applicable to my colleagues. We hope it will be better next week,” Mrs. Abosede Ojo, a gift pack seller, said.

At the Ijora Ram Market, the traders also complained of poor sales.

They envisage that sales might be low this Xmas because of the low patronage recorded at this period. A big goat goes for between N20,000 and N30,000 while the prices of the smaller ones range from N8,000 to N18,000. Alhaji Ibrahim Kulkul, one of the ram sellers, explained that prices would rise as Xmas approached.

Also, Mr Vincent Okpara, a seller of shoes at Alade Market, Ikeja, ascribed the increase in price to high cost of transportation and changes in the prices of goods from the manufacturers.

At Daleko Market in Mushin, the price of a 50 kg bag of imported rice like Mama Gold and Caprice ranges from N10,200 to N10,500, while Uncle Chef goes for N7,400.

However, a rice seller at Daleko Market, Alhaja Adijat Okunola, disclosed that the price of rice might soon increase in the market, due to its high demand during festive period.

Meanwhile, a N120kg bag of Olo 2 beans sells for N23,500, while the 60kg of honey beans goes for N13,000.

Mr. Emmanuel Abuchi, a beans seller at Daleko Market, said that the price of beans had been fluctuating in the market.

“The price of beans has not been stable in the market. The 120kg bag of beans that goes for N23, 500 today was sold at N25,000 last week,” Abuchi

At the Whitesand Market in Ajah, 25 litres of vegetable oil goes for N5,900, while 25 litres of palm oil goes for N6,300 and the drum goes for N49,500.

A 60kg bag of garri cost N5,500 at various markets, while 4-litre-measurement of garri sells for N300.

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