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Friday, August 23, 2019

Sinulog street traders report slow sales

SALES are flat at the street fair on Osmeña Blvd., vendors told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday.

Vendors said they have to be more aggressive in promoting their goods and dabble in wholesale selling to make up for the slow business.

The 10-year old garments business of the Sarip family from Zamboanga City, the oldest garments seller in the Sinulog street fair, is recording flat sales since opening on Dec. 1.

Stall keeper Justin Sarip said that unlike the previous years, especially in 2007 to 2008, sales this year are slow because of the impact of recent typhoons that hit the country. He said visitors and tourists, who have been their regular buyers since 2003, are not comfortable travelling because of the bad weather.

Wholesale

The Sarips have decided to sell wholesale. An item sold for P700 is offered at P400 if bought by the dozen.

The Sarips paid P35,000 as rent for their stall until Jan. 31. They are, however, extending through Feb. 3. They are open from 7 a.m. until midnight with 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. as peak selling hours.

Sarip said there were days in December when they could sell from P5,000 to P30,000, unlike the first week of January when sales would only hit P3,000.

First time Sinulog fair trader Gilbert Gumba, 22, of Cagayan de Oro City, agreed that sales were weak since he opened on Dec. 26.

Competition

Although Gumba expects tough competition with malls and mini-fairs in downtown Cebu, he is confident their Sinulog printed t-shirts would still do well because of quality and price. They sell printed shirts with prices ranging from P150 to P180. He said they have been offering discounts to keep their business going.

Since they opened on Dec. 27, the Quiobe family of Talisay City also reported low sales, unlike in the past two years.

The Quiobes sell handcrafted accessories from P10 to P120 and bags and wallets from P60 to P150.

Although they already made enough for their rent until the end of January, store attendant Randy Quiobe said they couldn’t afford to be complacent because their products are also sold in malls and sidewalks.

He said their products are patronized mostly by students and foreign tourists.

Sinulog Foundation, Inc. (SFI) executive director Ricky Ballesteros said vendors in
the Sinulog street fair are feeling the pinch of the presence of malls and sidewalk fairs in the city, including the night market on Colon St.

The Sinulog Street Fair, which is organized by the SFI, is an annual showcase of products from traders nationwide. It started in 1994 when Cebu City hosted Palarong Pambansa.

The exhibit, which stretches Osmeña Blvd., is held from Dec. 1 to Jan. 31. It is meant to allow traders nationwide to showcase products and allows SFI to raise funds for Sinulog activities.

Ballesteros said that depending on location, booths are rented out for P25,000 to P35,000, inclusive of tent and electricity. Currently, more than 40 booths have been rented out, which is 90 percent of the targeted 60 for the entire duration.

Aside from the major Sinulog street fair, food and beverage stalls are also accommodated in Fuente Osmeña Circle from Jan. 10 to 20 to cater to eventsgoers in the plaza. Tenants pay P30,000 for ten days, inclusive of tent and electricity.

On Jan. 20, SFI will open around 300 to 400 booths for P2,500 each with umbrella, table and permit along Osmeña Blvd. for its one day Sinulog Grand Parade business fair. Food is allowed so long as there is no open fire.

Meanwhile, the Sinulog Fiesta Fair, arranged by the Department of Trade and Industry in partnership with Cebu City Government and SFI, will be held from Jan. 11 to Jan. 22 in SM City Cebu. The exhibit will feature homegrown products from different towns in the province under the one town, one product program.
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