Pre-Xmas Shoppers in the Tema metropolis have called on traders to reduce the prices of goods, especially food items and frozen foods, to raise consumer confidence for late Christmas shopping.
A Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office pre-Christmas market survey encountered different categories of shoppers, including the early bird shoppers, the traditionalists, and the self-gifter who seek to find a way to make the festive magic happen, on their own, and the amateur, especially the young shoppers.
They are all sending a single message to the traders to reduce the prices of goods as the economy bounces.
While consumers are calling for a reduction in the prices of goods, the traders on the other hand are complaining about poor sales and blame the high cost of goods on the high-interest rate, the depreciation of the dollar against the Ghana cedi, and other economic challenges.
Ms. Deborah Eshun, a wholesale trader of rice, expected patronage to be up next week when workers are paid.
She said: “I understand customer behaviour during festive occasions, we work according to customer movement and taste.
“I sell wholesale to the market women aside from people, who randomly come in to buy my goods and so my prices must be cheaper, but this year we are all facing the same challenges because sales have been very low for a long while, and I had to stop selling items like cooking oil due to the situation.
“Last year bags of rice were cheaper but this time the least are pegged between GHS80.00 and GHS115.00 for the 5 kilogrammes, depending on the brand while the 25 kilogramme goes for GHS410.00 and 50 kilogramme is as high as GHS800.00.”
Madam Rebecca Korang, who sells beans, local rice, and plantain, said they were yet to experience the early bird purchase.
“Customers are complaining about the prices of the goods and only walk around the market as if they have lost something which they are looking for.”
Mr Issah Sulemana, a trader of cold foods at Karimuao Cold Store at the Tema Community One market, expressed concern about the cost of electricity “those of us dealing in frozen foods need to keep the fridge temperature at a certain level if not, the items may go bad.
“I spend more than GHS150.00 daily on electricity power and I have to top-up occasionally. I am investing my profit into paying the light bills.”
Madam Akosua Takyiwaa Ahinful, a customer of Dora’s Cold Store who was making a purchase ahead of Christmas told the GNA that prices of items keep changing while the salaries of workers remained the same.
She said due to the price variation, consumers are forced to prioritize their purchases, “I can’t buy much as I used to during previous Christmas seasons, and in a way to reduce the pressure I have joined the early bird wagon to avoid last minute price hikes.
“Due to the economic situation, I have no intention of giving gifts, not even to my external family. This year I can only concentrate on my immediate family.”