Rwanda: Traders Target January Sales After Disappointing Festive Season

The New Times (Kigali)

Emma Munyaneza

5 January 2012

While it is normal for traders to do brisk business over the December festive season, some entrepreneurs who talked to The New Times yesterday complained that this year’s festive season was not as successful as they would have wished.

Zola Kamanzi, a boutique owner in Kigali said, “On average, we would make million or so, in the week towards Christmas a few years ago. But this year, we only made around Rwf 400,000, which is almost the average amount we make over a good weekend.”

Mark Siringi, a stylist at the NYC Plus Salon in Nyamirambo, also commented that fewer people turned up for his services.

“It seems people either lacked money to spend or are no longer excited about the festive season because, years ago, we would work even past midnight. Business was not good this year,” she lamented.

Organizers of events and parties are also some of the people who told this newspaper that they registered reduced sales when compared with past festive seasons.

However they are optimistic about their sales this month. They said that they have already made many sales when compared to previous years.

Dealers in scholastic materials, clothes and goods needed by students on their way back to boarding school, like sugar have made a killing; schools will open next week.

Zola Kamanzi adds: “We hope that January will be a good month for us. We have already started earning more than we used to in previous years, especially in clothes and cosmetics. People dealing in beddings and scholastic materials also are better well positioned.”

Fassasi Kabasha, a trader in general merchandise around the Kigali business district, commonly known as “Quartier Matheus”, says his store is selling products like sugar and tinned products in good quantities. He expects the sales to increase in the coming weekend, when school children will be returning to school.

Kabasha reasons that increase in January sales compared to other years is due to the increase in private schools, most of which have boarding sections.

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