Christmas is the period business activities are supposed to flourish, and a time in the year that market women and men for instance expect bumper sales of their goods.
As it is with every Christmas season, market centres are expected to be filled up happy moments. Over the past years, it has been a common phenomenon when one visits shopping centres to hear the sound of music playing at every corner of the market, with some dancing or singing while buyers also enjoy the moment.
However, this year’s Christmas in the Volta regional capital, Ho, has not yet proved to be exciting.
With a week to the festive period, there is no frenzy in Ho. No banners of Christmas conventions in churches, no adverts for sales, few display of poultry from farms as in previous years. The sale of yams on trucks remained the usual scene. There was no rush to buy things, although the shops were packed with various items.
There seem to be no money in the pockets of the people chasing a glut of goods in the market, taking into consideration that time of the month.
However, some filling stations and banks had made decoration of flags on their premises as a sign of entering the Christmas season. Perhaps the situation may change when workers receive their last salary of the year.
According to some market women, this year’s Christmas has been a dull one because people do not patronise their products enough.
They explained that the low patronage of goods had become a headache because in as much as they were hoping things would change as Christmas got nearer, they were also in a state of panic because should things remain the same, they were in to incur huge debts.
One lady who sells dresses lamented that she was always in the market early since the beginning of the month but ‘my wares remain the same. I have sold just a few’.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, some market women at the Ho market complained about the high cost of products on the market which had led to low patronage.
A woman who owns a cold store called Dzidefo Enterprise lamented that people had no money to buy and the prices of foodstuff had shot up highly, affecting the purchase of goods.
“We have been here since morning but only few people have purchased something, some will even ask of the price and tell you they will come back but end up not coming. You would have come to meet me sleeping but I just woke up,” she said.
A poultry farmer, Gideon Zigah, also lamented that even though there was not much increase in the price of chicken, people were still not buying.
“Even though the cost of chicken is a bit up, it is of a slight difference. For instance, the cost of a fowl was GH¢25 last year, but this year it is GH¢30 cedis.’
Another poultry farmer, Mr Katsekpor, similarly said in November last year, people were even rushing to buy lots of fowls but this year he has seen nothing like that.
A woman who sells clothes for children said “people do not even ask for the price of dresses for their children.”
Madam Patricia, who sells vegetables, said it wasn’t easy to even take care of her children because it was difficult for her to sell her foodstuff and she urged employers to pay their workers so they can have money to buy from them.