- Traders lament low patronage just few hours before Christmas celebration
- Today at the market, Legit.ng inquire from traders price difference of goods during last year's Christmas and this year's Christmas
- Despite the rush in the market, traders revealed the purchasing power of buyers dropped significantly this Christmas
It’s just few hours to Christmas celebrations, traders in Lagos market anticipate for better sales. It is that time of the year, where the birth of the son of God is celebrated and where business owners and budding entrepreneur seek for ways to make good cash from their existing business activities.
It is always a period to watch out for as some cities are buzzing with notable activities and happenings to commemorate the big day. Lagos is one city that never goes to sleep during festive period as big events are organized by companies, state government and even media organisations. There is always something to talk about this period. But the advent of covid-19 made this year’s celebration a bleak one.
Covid-19, impacted businesses across the world negatively, crumbling economies that has resulted to slow pace of businesses, increment in the cost price of goods and high standard of living.
Surprisingly, there are goods that top the list of buyers this season and there are markets buyers visit to get the goods at reasonable prices. In Lagos state, Idumota, Oshodi, Ashwani, Yaba and Balogun to mention but a few are markets buyers visit to get important items for the season; items like bags, fashion accessories, hair accessories, shoes, sandals, clothes and quality and less quality fabrics, imported and locally. While some visit Oyingbo market, Mile 12 international market as well as Jakande market and more to get foodstuff items for the season.
At the market this week, Legit.ng inquire from traders the difference between the cost price of goods in the beginning of the year and now, especially last year's Christmas celebrations.
Some traders were reluctant at first to speak with Legit.ng as they are saddened with the turnout of few buyers at the market, few hours before Christmas celebrations. In fact, some popular markets experience rush in the market weeks before yuletide but this year, the reverse is the case as you can even count buyers present in some market across the state.
A trader at Alapere market, Alapere, Lagos in a chat with our correspondent, informed of the difference between the cost price of live feeds this Christmas and last Christmas. Adding that this year’s economy is one major factor that has inflated the cost price of goods.
“The cost price of goods this year is way higher than last year Christmas. Goods are very expensive this year Christmas than last year. The coronavirus pandemic affected to a large extent the activities of farmers and business owners in the country and beyond as distributors are not left out. This year Christmas is worse than last year's own.
“Now, there is a big difference between the cost price of chicken, beef, turkey, fish and even live chicken/frozen feeds. In some market, a carton of turkey now sells from N14,000 and N15,000 upwards as against its old price of N11,000 and N12,000 last year Christmas. Some traders sell beyond this price and others below; depending on the amount the sellers purchased it and the market visited.
“I sell frozen items before, but I stopped during lockdown, as my business became slow and I began running into loss. The year has been a difficult one, and we are struggling to survive through it. It has not been an easy journey so far but we are still here, this gives us hope in hard times like this.
“A carton of panla fish that was sold from N4,000 and N5,000 last year has risen to N8,000 and N10,000 upwards depending on the size. A carton of Titus fish increased from N12,000 and N14,000 to N16,000, N18,000 and N20,000 upwards this year Christmas. Also, a carton of chicken that cost N9,000 and N10,000 last year Christmas, increased to N12,000 upwards this year.
“For live chicken, the local one was sold from N2,500 last year, for the small one while the big ones were sold from N3,000 upwards but this year Christmas, the live chicken is sold from N5,000 for small one and N7,000 for big chicken (local). For broiler, they are sold from N4,000 upwards and the big one from N5,000 upwards.
“This year Christmas is bleak; it really does not look like a festivity period as buyers are really not buying goods like they did last year. Since we started, we have not made good profit from sales; it is even worse as some days we just come and not record any sale. The economy is in recess due to the lockdown and now, another lockdown is looming, this is why buyers are careful of their spending this Christmas. We are not selling and this is not good for the growth of any business during yuletide,” A trader who sells live chicken at the market, told Legit.ng.
Reacting to the price difference of food items in the market, a trader who sells tomato paste, seasoning and other food ingredients, revealed the cost of purchase in the second quarter of the year rises by over ten percent. Adding that, the result is the low patronage traders across markets in the state are experiencing.
“It is not easy to get to this point of the year especially with the happenings and events that affects the security of lives of most people in the country. The pandemic has done more harm than god to us but we are still fighting to be safe and well.
“Before, the border closure inflated the cost price of goods but this year, the pandemic led to total increment in the cost price of goods even healthcare products. The cost price of goods was given at reasonable rate earlier this year but after the lockdown, we began to experience continuous increment in the cost price of all goods in the market.
“A carton of tomato paste, was sold from N1,800, N2,300 and N2,500 with N3,500 respectively but now, it has risen to over four thousand naira due to the pandemic. For seasoning, a carton is given for sale from N2,000, N3,000 and N4,000 respectively but now, they have risen to N4,500, N5,000, N6,000 and N8,000 respectively. This depends only on the brand, the content in the carton and the market visited.
“This yuletide period, sales are quite encouraging but we need to sell more so we can also celebrate to our satisfaction. The profit we have been recording in present time is very low and one that cannot sustain the business but we are sure of improved sales in the new year."
Perishables are major items during this period in the market. But at popular markets, the traders selling perishables lament over poor sales this yuletide. A seller disclosed further the present cost price of the goods, supply and patronage level.
“No market. We are here praying and hoping for better sales by the end of the day. No market and nothing is happening in the market. The rush is not there anymore. Last year celebration is far better than this year. For tomatoes, it is very expensive as a big basket of tomatoes can be purchased from N15,000 upwards while the tomatoes that are very much in supply, the watery ones, the basket cost N8,000 upwards. Now, you can get them from as low as N100 and N50 but the Jos and Benue ones are sold from N200 upwards.
“Pepper is a bit affordable but onion is not. A bag of pepper, big-size is sold from N10,000 upwards while the small bag is sold from N5,000 and N6,000 upwards. A bag of onion, is still sold from N60,000 upwards. Last year, during Christmas a bag of onion is sold from N18,000, N20,000 and N38,000 but this year, it has risen to over N60,000, N70,000 upwards. The supply of perishable goods is high but the patronage is very low,” A tomato seller disclosed.
In a similar vein, a young lady, who sells men’s wear at the market opined that the increment in the cost price of goods has been a norm in the country for some time now.
She said: “I sell female wears at the market before, but this period when the cost of purchase increased, it inflated the cost price of the goods we sell. And here at the market, we offer goods at wholesale prices and sometimes lesser so as to keep our customers our loyal customers. The cost of purchase of most goods in the market this year is doubled and some are not even produced from quality materials as they ought to, so they can be meet up with customers demand in the market.
“This year, polo’s that was sold from N1,500, has risen to N2,500 while the less quality ones are sold from N1,000 as against their old price of N500 and N800. For singlet, the less quality ones that are sold from N500 before, has risen to N1,000 upwards while the quality ones are sold from N2,500 upwards as against their old price of N1,500 and N1,800 last year Christmas while shirts are sold from N3,000 upwards as against the old price of N2,000.
“For ladies’ gowns, the ones that were sold for N2,000 before has risen to N3,500 and above while the gowns of high-quality materials are sold from N40,000 upwards as against their old price of N25,000 and N30,000. One thing that still attracts sales is that we mix our goods; we sell some that are very expensive and we add the ones that are very affordable so as to make sales and keep our business running smoothly. Buyers purchased only the items they are in dire need of, only few are shopping for Christmas now.”
This period, beans maintained its previous cost price same with garri while there is a reduction in the cost price of rice. Sellers’ at the market worry over the rise and fall in the cost price of goods in the market as a rice dealer gave a detailed explanation of food prices this year and last year.
“The change in the market so far is as a result of the economy, the coronavirus pandemic and the state of the nation. Nothing seems to be working in a long time now. We are just doing a lot individually to see how we can survive through the harsh times.
“The difference in the cost price of rice last year is just a slight one same with beans and garri as their prices fluctuate. For ogbono and egusi, the cost price of ogbono last year Christmas was from N70,000, N80,000 and N85,000 respectively, but this year, ogbono is sold from N120,000 upwards while egusi is sold from N55,000 and N60,000 upwards. But this Christmas, a bag of egusi is sold from N40,000 upwards.
“After border closure last year, the cost price of rice has not been stable, it rises and fall same with beans. Last year, a bag of garri is sold from N6,000 and N7,000 upwards while the big bag is sold from N12,000 and N14,000 upwards but this year a big bag is sold from N20,000 upwards. Last year, beans (oloyin) is sold from N18,000 but this year, it has risen to N22,000 upwards. The cost price of rice increased after border closure. A bag of foreign rice this year is N26,000 while local rice is sold from N23,000 upwards. The supply of the goods are very high now. The cost price of food item this year and the standard of living have increased drastically compared to last year.
Making a comparison on the cost of purchase of food items last Christmas and this year’s Christmas, a trader who sells Christmas accessories, caps and trees at Ketu market lament over poor sales. She stated that, decorations this year is very low.
“Decoration for the season this year is very low. Yes, we sell goods to companies, religious bodies and retailers but this year, we made sales more from religious bodies compared to companies and buyers in general. There is no rush at all, everywhere is just dry in the market. Religious centres cannot do without the Christmas and new year decoration.
“Every year, most companies purchase a lot of items from us, this increase our sales, but this year, most companies did not celebrate as usual due to Covid-19. We are not making sales at all; market is very dry and business too dull for the season. The restrictions placed on activities this year, has affected to a large extent the sales level in most market across the state. People have been working from home for some months now and some are still working from home now. This brings about the difference between last year Christmas and this years’ Christmas.
“Gifts were not given out in large quantity this year, because they are very expensive and people spend more money on feeding now than such items. Hampers that are sold for N8,000 and N10,000 last year has risen to N12,000 and N15,000 upwards. While the ones that are sold from N15,000 last year, now cost N18,000 and N20,000 and above.
“Christmas caps, depending on the design are sold from N600, N1,200, N1,500 respectively same with last year. The cost price of Christmas tree is also influenced by the size and the designs on it. The bigger the tree, the higher the price. Their prices are not fixed as they are sold from N20,000 and N25,000 upwards, for the big size, and 15,000 and below for the small size. Same with the ones given for sale last year’s Christmas.
“As regards the cost price of Christmas accessories, the difference is not much but items that are really expensive are the Christmas tree, hamper and grocery items that are in the basket. Grocery/provisional items are very expensive while drinks and wine increased a bit by five percent this year. This is one of the biggest and most celebrated events around the world, but today, it is not the case for celebration but the case for survival as the battle against this killer virus gets tougher by the day,” A trader told our correspondent.
As the fight against coronavirus pandemic gets tougher by the day, government and health experts seek ways daily to further curb the spread as new variant of COVID-19 spreads.
INTERVIEW: Why onion is now expensive in the market - trader via Legit TV