Business News of 2014-06-19

World Cup paraphernalia sales poor

Traders vending various branded paraphernalia have so far failed to reap any windfalls from the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2014.

The month-long event, being staged in Brazil from June 12 to July13, has traditionally been associated with high sales of paraphernalia over the years.

However, traders say they have recorded poor sales since the commencement of this year’s tournament -- due largely to the poor economic conditions in the country.

Kwabena Adu, a trader on the Osu Oxford Street in Accra who sells flags, branded hats and wristbands, said: “During the 2006 World Cup I could sell GH¢1,000 a day, but as at now I have not made up to GH¢200 yet. The only goods that I have sold today are 10 replica jerseys, five Ghanaian-branded hats and eight bands, which is not enough.”

An electronic appliance dealer on the Oxford Street also said that the high exchange rate has led to low patronage of his television sets.

“Because of this, many people come to the showroom just to window-shop. This has caused business to run at a slow pace because goods in the showroom have not been bought to call for new imports. Though we are trying to attract customers with ads and promotions, it seems they are still reluctant to buy the items because of the economy,” he added.

Akwesi Ampem, the operator of Goodmoon Enterprise, said Ghanaians are “fair-weather” fans, who need a good performance from the Black Stars to get into the football mood.

“The Ghanaian atmosphere by observation does not depict that we are partaking in the World Cup, because people purchased more of these items before the start of the past World Cup in South Africa four years ago; but now the customers’ patronage is not encouraging,” he said.

Along the Oxford Street in Osu, Ghanaian-branded replica jerseys, flags, hats and wristbands still hang in stalls, with piles being kept in boxes.

Mrs. Monica Okorie, a dealer in flags, complained bitterly about the poor sales she is making during this World Cup season. She said that she sold above 20 flags daily when South Africa hosted the 2010 World Cup, but now she only sells close to eight flags on a daily basis.

“Vuvuzelas,” she said, “are not being bought at all”; and she’s now thinking of selling them at a lower price to clear her stock.

Every World Cup marks a season of celebration in Ghana, with a majority of the youth using paraphernalia to cheer the Black Stars. The level of excitement however depends on the performance of the national team, and after Ghana’s loss on Monday to the USA the already slow pace of activities has worsened.

Following the defeat on Monday night, pubs and drinking spots in the capital and nearby places said they recorded low sales, and most of those who came to drink were not new customers.

Eric Obeng, a pub manager, told the B&FT: “I was making as much as GH¢600 and above in a day on beer and meat during the South African World Cup, but for now sales have fallen drastically.”