Sinulog vendors suffer low sales

Sinulog vendors suffer low sales
File photo

VENDORS of this year’s 2024 Sinulog Street Fair are losing revenue due to the less visibility of its new location; and consequently, a low customer turnout compared to last year.

The Sinulog Street Fair is an area filled with stalls that sell various goods such as decorative shirts and souvenir items for tourists and locals who come to Cebu City to witness the festival in honor of Sto. Niño.

The fair is now on a 42,000-square-meter lot along Quezon Blvd., between P. Burgos and Lapu-Lapu Streets, near the Maritima ruins.

In previous years, the street fair was set up along Osmeña Blvd., one of Cebu’s busiest roads, that is now undergoing construction as part of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project with some roads and sidewalks closed.

The street fair started last Dec. 20, 2023 and is set to end on Feb. 20, 2024.

The current location of the street fair is able to accommodate 55 stalls, which is smaller than the previous location. Only 30 slots have, so far, been occupied.

“Only 55 slots can be accommodated there at Maritima compared to Abellana (Osmeña Blvd.) which could have as much as 65 stalls,” said Mae Colao, finance officer of the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI) in Cebuano.

Colao said the lower turnout of vendors and customers is due to the change in location because people are used to having the fair along Osmeña Blvd.

However, Colao added that since the start of novena-masses at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño last Jan. 11, the number of customers have increased.

Colao said their target this year is to have all slots occupied.

Vendors who want to secure a slot in the street fair will have to apply at the SFI office at the Cebu City Sports Center and pay P40,000 rental fee and a P10,000 cash bond. Payment for utilities such as electricity will be deducted from the cash bond.

The SFI revenues will be used to fund future activities of the foundation.

Difficulties

Michelle Badayos, a vendor from Davao who has been selling souvenir shirts since 2013, said the new location has made it difficult for customers to find the street fair.

“Customers don’t know that there are souvenir items here because they also did not put up a tarp announcing that there are souvenirs here,” said Badayos in Cebuano.

Badayos said they have to try different strategies in order to sell their products such as going out of the street fair area and into the street to advertise their products. Oftentimes, this would get them into trouble with traffic personnel and others manning the streets.

“If we don’t find ways, we will suffer very terrible losses,” Badayos lamented.

Badayos said they had to lower the prices of souvenir shirts from P250 to P180 and P280 to P200.

“If we don’t sell them cheap, we won’t have any sale,” she said.

Badayos said their daily average earning has significantly decreased from their usual P20,000 during opening to P3,000 a day if they are “lucky.”

“It’s just now that there are no people,” said Badayos.

Colao called on the public to visit the 2024 Sinulog Street Fair since the stalls offer a variety of fiesta souvenirs and products at affordable prices.

“Compared to malls, they are cheaper,” said Colao.

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