Crisis takes toll on décor sales
() - November 6, 2009 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - With less than 60 days before Christmas, colorful decorations-big and small are found all over. But has the financial crisis affected the sales of these products?

It probably has, as some of the small businesses in Cebu City ’s commercial district-Colon had shared that there have been fewer sales compared to the past few months.

Carmelita Descartin, the supervisor of Best Buy Mart, one of the oldest existing stores in Colon selling various products said that they have noted a decrease in sales in their Christmas products for this year.

Descartin said that in the previous years, sales for their Christmas decorations are already up as early as October. But this year, Descartin said that it is already the start of November yet their sales are not that high compared to the previous year.

She said though that they have high sales in some products like Christmas trees and Christmas lights.

According to her, these products are the best-sellers where they even had to order a new batch from Manila .

But Descartin said that aside from which, the other products are affected and she said that this is probably due to the financial crisis.

She also said that she also believes that the increasing competition could have also affected their sales. Descartin said that in their area alone, there is a lot competition already and more are even emerging.

But she said that they believe that they still have an edge over other stores because since they have one supplier, their products are not found in all other stores and that their prices are still low compared to others.

She said that even if they do not have promos or sales, they still have regular customers who go back to their store.

Descartin said that for the coming weeks, they will be observing if there would be more customers so that they would be able to adjust their time of opening which is usually from 9:30 am to 7:30 am.

Aside from this, Descartin said that despite the fair sales, they have noted of buyers already for Christmas gifts like clothes and bags, some even purchasing already in bulks.

Nelia Pitogo, a sidewalk vendor selling small Christmas lanterns, Christmas paper bags and some decorations in Colon said that they have definitely felt fewer sales this year.

She said that mostly passersby only ask for the price and some just look at how the lanterns are made so that they could make it on their own.

“Tihik naman ang mga taw, mangita na ug pa-agi na dili kapalit. Maski barato diri, sila nalang daw buhat.” (Consumers nowadays are very frugal, they always try to find a way not to spend, even if some items are sold at very reasonable prices, buyers would always opt to create their own decors instead of buying.) —AJ de la Torre

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