VARIOUS traders along Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City hope to generate more sales during the Sinulog Festival, which culminates in the grand parade next Sunday, Jan. 16.
Indao Salimbago, a fashion accessory trader who has a stall on Leon Kilat St., said she had long been joining the Sinulog street fair as this was one of the celebrations where traders like her could generate more sales.
“I take advantage of the local and foreign tourists who come to Cebu for the festival,” Salimbago told Sun.Star Cebu.
She sells locally sourced costume jewelry like necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
Salimbago said her sales this year have been better compared to her sales in the previous year.
Since the start of the street fair last December, her business has been doing well because of the affordable prices of her products. The prices range from P10 to P100.
“This street fair has added income to our family, especially during this difficult time,” she said.
This business is the source of her family’s income. Her husband is also selling the same items at a bazaar at the nearby Elizabeth Mall.
Another trader, Shaidamin Saadodin, a batik (native cloth) trader from Zamboanga City, said he has been joining the Sinulog street fair for seven years.
This year, he rented two spaces at P35,000 each.
“We know a lot of tourists come for the festival. We just wanted to have a stall spacious enough for the customers to be comfortable in when looking for items they could buy,” he said.
Saadodin sells batik items, such as malong (tube dress or skirt), dresses, bags and hats imported from Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore.
However, he said last year’s sales performance was better compared to this year’s. He noted that they earned P5,000 to P6,000 a day during the last Sinulog street fair.
“But now, since the street fair started (in December 2009), we have been earning only P4,000 to P5,000 a day,” he said.
He explained that although he had also reduced the prices of all his batik items by 15 percent, a lot of buyers still asked for a price reduction.
“It’s because people want to find ways to save, but we are hoping that as the Sinulog day approaches, more buyers will buy our items, “he said.
The Sinulog Foundation Inc.’s (SFI) executive director Ricky Ballesteros said the foundation organized the street fair to help traders expose their products and generate income.
“According to some traders, they consider Sinulog as one of the festivities where they can get higher sales,” he said in a phone interview.
SFI has leased stalls to traders at P30,000 to P35,000 each for the period Dec. 1, 2009 to Jan. 31, 2010.
Traders who have joined the street fair come from different parts of the country; however, most of them are from Mindanao.
Ballesteros reported that SFI collected almost P1.7 million in rental of the spaces from the 60 to 65 traders who joined the street fair for Sinulog ’09.
This year, he said, the SFI has collected close to P1.8 million.
Earnings generated from the rentals will be used for next year’s Sinulog celebration.