Business is yet to boom for many in town just days to Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, traders said.
In separate interviews with The New Times, traders of different merchandise across Kigali said they stocked products with hope of cashing in on the festive season but business is yet to pick up.
Flora Kayitesi, who runs a liquor store at Kisimenti, Kigali said they will operate 24 hours a day during the holiday season but the flow of customers is still the same.
“We just pray we get customers during the festive season. These days we are even offering some discounts for our customers but there is no remarkable increase in demand,” she noted.
But a dealer in clothes and flowers next door said business was picking slowly.
“We are expecting more customers in coming days. People will need to buy gifts for their children, and flowers. It is an interesting period, people are happy, and celebrating with their families,” said Nadine Umurerwa.
At another clothes shop, at Remera-Giporoso center, Aimé Nizeyimana, said, “As we speak, there is no sign of Christmas because people seem not to have money for shopping. But there is hope that in the coming days, they will come in large numbers.”
“Business has been slow this festive season than before, but we are ready to serve,” he said.
François Muhayimana, the marketing manager of Golden Fashion Dealers in the city centre, said that previously, “you could notice the festive mood from early December with lots of shoppers unlike this year.”
“Even when customers manage to come, their spending behaviours have changed,” he said.
His company is offering 30 per cent discount during the festive season.
Emmy Kalisa, who sells electronics in Konka shop in down-town Kigali, said they were yet to realise boost in sales.
“Christmas and New Year holidays seem not to be appealing any more. But we are waiting patiently,” he claimed.
Anne-Marie Nyirangendahimana, fruits seller in Nyabugogo modern market, said she was not too optimistic interms of sales.
But some prospective buyers said they were awaiting salaries to go shopping.
‘‘Once I get my salary, I intend to buy a new pair of shoes for the New Year,’’ said a Kigali resident.