Sellers of hampers on Wednesday in Lagos expressed disappointment over poor sales of the favourite gift by individuals, families and organisations to loved ones and clients during Christmas seasons.
A cross section of the dealers told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that they might venture into other businesses in 2015 yuletide due to the poor patronage.
A survey by NAN showed an array of unsold hampers at Apongbon, White Sand, Balogun markets on Lagos Island while it was the same in Iponri, Ikeja, among others, in the Mainland.
The prices of the hampers, packed in cane, raffia baskets, plastic bowls and wooden boxes ranged from N6,000 to N50,000 depending on the items packed in them.
At Maryland, Ikeja, where the baskets and boxes are made, the least basket goes for N1,000 while the least box goes for N5,000.
The survey also showed that the prices of hampers went up by at least 25 percent when compared with that of 2013.
Taiye Adeyemi, who sells the items at Apongbon market, said sales had never been bad as recorded during the last Christmas season.
“I had great expectations when I packed the hampers for sale.
” Yearly, I sell at least 100 hampers, which were usually bought before the New Year because of the high demand.
“This year, the story is different. I have only sold 20 hampers.
“I feel so disappointed and frustrated because my capital has been tied down by the poor sales.”
Another trader at Apongbon market, Iyabode Adepitan, said that she might unpack the contents in the hampers and sell them individually.
She said, “We are already in mid January; customers are not forthcoming, considering the numbers of unsold hampers I have in stock.
“I might just remove the items in the baskets and sell them.
“The low sale is discouraging.
“Most of us might not venture into hampers business at Christmas because what we deduced from this is that most Nigerians are no longer interested in hampers.”
Rebecca Abiona, who sells the items at Iponri Market, blamed the economic situation of the country for the low sales.
Abiona said that should the items in the hampers be sold individually, the traders would incur more losses because the baskets, plastic bowls and wooden boxes would be useless.
She said, “Most of my customers that patronise me yearly complained they were frugal in their spending.”
Margaret Oluwagbemiga, an event planner, said that the low sales might be due to the high cost of the hampers.
According to her, the least hamper is N6,000 and this may be why many looked elsewhere.
She said that she had orders from some companies to deliver hampers to their clients.
“But I couldn’t buy because the prices of the hampers had increased far more than I envisaged.
“I bought the items in bulk and packaged them into hampers to suit the various demands of my customers.
“Although it was stressful, I was able to work within the money approved by the organisations for the hampers and also made a good profit,” she said.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime.com/Ukrphoto