AKS CHRISTMAS VILLAGE ROUNDS OFF JAN 2, 2020
…BUSINESS OWNERS LAMENT OVER MARGINALIZATION
Business owners doing business in the 2019 Akwa Ibom State Christmas village worry over low patronage as activities end on January 2, 2020.
The Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Orman Esin dropped the hint recently during a meeting with business owners.
However, business owners decry low patronage due to the position of the live-stage which pulls customers to only one part of the village leaving other business owners struggling for buyers.
Speaking with business owners in the village, our reporter gathered that business is not as anticipated due to the strong pull of buyers to business stands around the stage, marginalising others falling beyond the stage.
A business owner who gave his name as Samuel said some days he leaves without any sell and some days he needs to go hunting for buyers from other stands around the stage.
He added that many times the embarrassment does not encourage him repeating the hunt in stands around the stage but turn the search to entrances as buyers troop in.
Another in the same vein said it is not encouraging as most of the intended buyers already have specific stands they are to patronise due to already established relationship with respective business owners. Mary Etim said it takes extra effort to breakthrough.
She went further to say those really making sales in the village are those who had already had Sit-Out businesses, hence networking their customers to their respective business stands in the Christmas Village.
Samuel, a business owner said “If there is a way the management can introduce life to the section of the village experiencing low patronage by introducing activities that could attract buyers like big screens and games, it would have rescued the situation as the village is soon rounding off in less than three weeks and we are yet to recover our capital not to talk of profit.”
Speaking with a buyer, Mrs Nsisong Andrew said “I only come to the village to enjoy the view of performers on the live-stage and also to listen to comedies. So I like sitting in any of the stands around the live-stage.”