As Yuletide season approaches, well packaged hampers ought to be exchanging hands by now but the traders have attributed the low patronage to economic recession.A cross section of Lagosians told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews on Saturday, that they were not giving out hampers this year.Mrs Bose Adeleye, a trader who packages hampers for sale at the Apongbon market in Lagos, said nobody had come to ask her to put together any hamper.
“Last year was better. We did not sell much but people were coming, little by little, to demand for little baskets and not so big ones.“This year is terrible; I have not sold any hamper, you can see empty baskets waiting to be filled.“We do it when people order for it,’’ she said.Another trader, Mrs Iyabo Ajayi, who owns `Mama Olawale Stores’ at Balogun market, said that people were shying away because of paucity of funds in the country.“Corporate bodies and individuals ought to be ordering for hampers by now, but we have not seen any.“I even sent out proposals and reduced the prices but they have not answered me.“It is really tough,’’ she told NAN.
Mrs Christy Oleka, a corporate gift shop owner at Idumota, Lagos, told NAN that hampers was “a no go area’’ this year because it would be exorbitant for people.“It has become an essential commodity because things have gone up.“For a well-packaged hamper; you are talking of about N20,000 and above.“Some people will calculate that money and buy some other gifts and distribute.“Corporate people like giving something substantial to their customers or they will leave out,’’ she said.Oleka said that sellers were losing out because this is the period they expect to make huge profit from hampers.“You can see that we are sitting down doing nothing and watching people wandering in the market,’’ she said.
Also a Civil Servant, Mr Tony Udeh, said that by now hampers would have been arriving from all corners but “we have not seen any’’.“We have not received any in our office; even our Managing Director’s office is dry from the provision basket.“The economic recession is biting harder on people,’’ Udeh said.Mr Emmanuel Bassey, an artisan, told NAN that he was interested in how to buy rice and other food stuffs this yuletide for his family, “not hampers’’.“Anyway, if anybody happens to give me, I will take but I have not seen any of it these days,’’ Bassey said.He recalled that in the past “you must have seen people carrying hampers into homes’’.