Olamide Thomas, a father of two has not yet figured out how he will meet the needs of his family for this year’s Christmas and New Year shopping even with just a few days to Christmas.
Thomas who can’t wait to make this season a memorable one for his family is also, trying to decide where to do the shopping.
For many Nigerians, shopping ahead of the festive period is a necessity. That is why individual and shopping malls of different sizes and categories stockpile items that are in high demand during the season.
TELL surveyed the Ikeja shopping mall, which prides itself with offering cheap prices one can trust. Starting from the hampers, which are packs of goodies, shoppers are making frantic efforts to get all they need for the season.
Olojode Haruna, a sales representative at the mall explained that this year’s Christmas gift items seem more affordable and were designed to attract buyers.
“We have different prices for various hampers raging from N5,000 to N50,000 to meet the needs and demand of our customers who are of different social classes. We have gift for the middle class as well as the super rich,” he said.
The market survey also shows that to add more excitement to the festivities, more people are going for fireworks. For some people, the use of fireworks gets everyone in the mood for festivities.
Akinlabi Nurudeen who sells fireworks at Ogba area of Lagos said fireworks are a classic addition to Christmas celebration.
“Fireworks is an essential items this season, as we can send them off to the sky to make it more colorful. As you can see, more people are coming for it,” he said.
But for Dele Ayoola, a manager at Just Rite stores, Ojodu branch, there is low demand for gift items as many people only come to make enquiries about price.
“We only see people trooping in to place their orders and to make enquiries from our staffs.”
According to him, sales of Christmas items has been slow, contrary to the company’s expectation, but he is still optimistic about better sales before the festive period.
“Most Nigerians are late buyers and will wait till some few days to any festive period before making their purchase,” he stressed.
In some local markets in Lagos, prices of rice, a necessary commodity for festive season have gone up. Royal Stallion rice, which was sold for between 15,500 and 16,500 now goes for 17,000. Some others sell for as much as between 19,000 and 20,000.
Ajoke Omolade, a trader says the increase in price is due to high demand for rice. Also, price of chicken has doubled. This, according to finndings is also, due to increase in demand. But according to Omoshalewa Modinat, a chicken seller, people are now diverting from the demand of Chicken to turkey as Chicken has become expensive just a few days to Christmas.
“For now chicken is N4, 500 and turkey N11, 000, and the way things are going now, it’s definitely going to get more expensive because Christmas is not here yet and we are already selling layers for N1, 600 whereas before, we sold layers for N1, 300 and breeder is now N4, 500 though it was N2, 000 before now.”
“Doing the shopping early allows you to get the best of items you want to buy for Christmas. You can also get the right sizes and colours of those items when you do the shopping early. You don’t have to join the last minute crowd to buy whatever you want when you can buy it early.
“Save yourself the stress, go to the market or stores to get your Christmas items. Even if you want to do the shopping online, you can do it early before the platform runs out of stock of those things you want to buy.”
For many who celebrate Christmas, it’s all about family, food and fun.