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Regional News of Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Source: Cameroon Tribune

Hawkers everywhere as end-of-year feasts are near


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They make brisk business in the sales of “Christmas” decorations, toys, dresses and shoes.

As the countdown to the end-of-year and beginning of year feasts narrows, so too have some hawkers abandoned their fulltime businesses and join those who carry out seasonal hawking in order to make brisk business.

In metropolitan Douala, streets and markets are stuffed with hawkers brandishing decorations, toys, dresses and shoes to those who care to see at lesser prices, making fast turnovers.

During this season, most traders and hawkers get goods at wholesale prices from big markets like Marché de Femme, Douala Central Market and the Mboppi Market and sell for moderate prices to customers. According to Sylvester K., who carries out seasonal hawking, proceeds are high if dealers buy goods that are at the reach of low-income earners.

“My toys range from FCFA 300 to FCFA 2,000, decorations for “Christmas trees for between FCFA 500 and FCFA 1,500 and I as well sell dresses for children between FCFA 1,500 and FCFA 5000,” he said. The former book hawker said he sells mostly in neighbourhoods like Bonaberi, where most inhabitants carryout self-reliant economic activities.

Making at least FCFA 15,000 in profit daily, is telling of the mouth-watering takings hawkers make. Another hawker operating a makeshift shop, said though it is tedious to push a wheelbarrow full of shoes and dresses, the benefit is worthwhile.

The sale strategies and slogans they use entertain and sometimes irritate passersby who either smile and patronise their businesses, or curse them for their annoyance. Slogans like “Father Christmas is here”, “This is better than beer”, “Time to demonstrate one’s love to kids”, and “The clip in prices” attracts customers.

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