ISO veterans to receive terminal benefits
December 18, 2018
Kapchorwa road accident death toll rises to 21.
December 19, 2018
Show all

Kampala traders upbeat as shoppers plan budgets for Christmas Day celebration

The month of December, whose key highlight is Christmas Day celebrations, can be referred to as the ‘shopping month’. On December 25, Ugandans, majority of whom are Christians, celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

But that is not to say people of other religions don’t shop during this holy month and some businessmen, in anticipation of a boom in shopping, have already delivered some items on the market: new women’s wear, men’s wear and children’s wear.

Dressing on Christmas Day is so crucial to the extent that some women have left their matrimonial homes just because the husbands were unable to buy them new dresses. This is because dresses and shoes are considered the first exhibit of how a family is prepared for the Christmas celebrations.

A simple survey by this reporter who visited shopping malls in Kampala’s city center established that most traders who deal in clothes are expecting their deliveries by end of November even as some are selling those that remained last year.

“I made some orders in October and I am told the ship is on its way from China to Mombasa. I hope to get my dresses and shoes in one week’s time,” Sheila Nakyeyune, a supplier of the pieces at wholesale prices, told this reporter.

The retailers and wholesalers say shopping for Christmas slowly picked up as November came to an end and they expect to sell big volumes from the second and third week towards Christmas Day that falls on December 25.

Mark Tugumisiriza, who runs a music system shop in Kisekka Market, area is optimistic that this time he will sell more than he did last year. “Last Christmas Season, I was able to sell 10 pieces mainly loud speakers but this time I hope to sell over thirty,” he said, enticing this reporter to come and purchase one of the items at a discount he intends to set for this season.

For wholesalers of food items like sugar, rice, cooking oil and baking flour, orders were made to factories and say by second week of December they should have arrived in there store for distribution to retailers.

Supermarkets as well are planning for more acquisitions from suppliers even though some say factories failed to meet their orders due to low production capacity. “The increase in prices of some items is a result of low production at the factories. During Christmas season we make big orders but factories sometimes have limited capacity,” says a lady who runs a downtown wholesale shop for sugar, rice, soap and baking flour.

That aside, some traders with genuine products are worried that those with counterfeits and substandard goods products may cut their sales, as the former go for lesser prices. They are also scared of vendors during this period and hope Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) will act accordingly.

“The Chinese who bring in substandard shoes and clothes should be apprehended,” said Joseph Menha, a second-hand shoe dealer who runs a shop on Ham Shopping Centre in Nakivubo.

Some traders have advised the shoppers to beware of conmen in the city, saying the Christmas season is when the fraudsters are at their best. “I advise retailers not to give them (conmen) your money or luggage,” warns a businessman in Nakivubo area.

He went ahead to ask the police to carry our round-the-clock deployment of more officers in the central business district. “Without the police in town, the ‘Bayaye’ will be many,” he says.

As Christians plan their shopping in the city, they are at the same time advised to expect congestion, traffic jam, high prices and availability of fake and substandard goods, conmen and changes in weather patterns. The traders say early shopping is convenient.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *