Tuesday 26th December, 2006


Street vendors cry the blues

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Christmas sales ended with less than a bang in the nation’s capital this year. Frederick, Henry, Queen and Charlotte Streets were all littered with vendors and their goods, but the majority of people on the streets seemed less than interested in shopping on Christmas Day.

Clothing vendors, who set up shop on the sidewalks early Christmas morning, all complained that up to noon yesterday, they had seen only a couple of last-minute shoppers.

“Santa run out of the city this Christmas man. Sales were very slow for this whole period, and today has not changed.

“It’s not been like Christmas at all. Things real change. I going home as soon as the sun cool,” one vendor on Henry Street said as she sold a boxer shorts to a man.

Another vendor, when approached, mumbled that she could not talk now and busied herself by packing up her goods to leave for home.

Still another one, who agreed to be interviewed but refused to be named, blamed the Government for this year’s slow sales.

“Manning who cause we sales to drop. Food prices gone up and people have to eat so we are the ones who have to suffer.

“Look at when we have to come out here to try and get we goods sell.”

He said the majority of vendors on the streets yesterday were those who were displaced after the People’s Mall on Frederick Street was destroyed by fire in 2005.

“The Government only making a set of promises to rebuild, and nothing happening.

“Look at clothes I have here. I hardly sell anything and I have not gone home for three days.”

“Sales real drop, compared to last year. I had to undersell my things just to sell something,” he added.

Jennifer Jones, manager of Street Level shoe store in Voyager Mall, also echoed the sentiments of the street vendors.

“Sales this year were not as in previous years. We opened at nine o’clock this morning, because of the slow season we had, but from then to now sales have been slow.”

However, fruit vendors on Independence Square between Frederick and Henry Streets said their sales were good this Christmas.

“Although we got the spot a bit late, sales were good and I think if we had been here before sales would have been even better, one vendor said.

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