Christmas: Dealers lament low Hampers patronage

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Ahead of 2018 Christmas and New Year celebrations, Hampers have flooded markets and shopping centres but dealers complain of low patronage.

Hampers are usually presented as gifts by individuals, groups and corporate organisations during celebrations to clients, friends and relations.

Our correspondent, who visited markets and shopping malls in Enugu metropolis on Tuesday, reports that many hampers in decorated raffia baskets, plastic bowls and wooden boxes had yet to be sold.

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The markets visited include Garki, Ogbete main markets and shopping malls.

The prices of the hampers depended on their sizes, contents and descriptions. They range from N10,000 to N50,000.

Dealers, who spoke to our correspondent, expressed disappointment over low patronage which, they attributed to the poor economic situation in the country.

Felix Ikeazor, a shop owner at Ogbete Main Market, said that the economic situation had greatly reduced the purchasing power of customers for hampers during this Yuletide.

He added that he regretted investing his money in the business.

“I have not been able to sell 10 of the 45 hampers I bought since November, it is disappointing.

“Many of my counterparts did not invest in hampers this year; I wish I did not,’’ he said.

Lauretta Uba, who sells hampers at Mayor Shopping Mall, said that she had yet to make any brisk business this festive season.

She also attributed the low patronage to hardship.

Jude Eboh, a banker, said that his family had received only two hampers this year compared to 2017.

“Usually, by now, we would have got up to seven hampers. I am shocked that we have received only two.

“It has to do with the fact that many companies are trying to reduce expenses amid low profit,’’ she said.

However, a Pharmacist, Oluchi Nwaigbo, attributed the low purchase of hampers to the attitude of some dealers, who package expired items into the basket which discourages buyers.

“It is annoying that when you open some hampers, most of the items are almost expired. There is no value for the money paid.

“Because of these unwholesome practices, many people buy the items needed in bulk and prepare the hampers themselves,” she said.

NAN