Businesses owners in Ikeja Computer Village, the nations biggest technology market cluster, say they are facing low patronage from customers ahead of tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day celebration.
Valentine’s Day, also known as Lover’s Day is observed annually on February 14 around the world, and is also a good season for business with exchange of gifts among lovers.
Valentine’s Day has also been known as a special day set aside for lovers to show love through exchange of gifts, and Ikeja Computer Village has traditionally benefited when people buy expensive gadgets including phones, and other consumer electronics for their loved ones.
Technology Times was on a survey of Computer Village in Ikeja to observe how Lagos residents trooped into the technology market cluster to buy gadgets, mobile devices and other tech gifts for their loved ones.
Technology Times survey reveals that sales of smartphones, laptops, iPads and other devices have dropped compared to previous years, in spite of various promo packages being offered by many device makers and retailers to boost sales.
During the survey across these tech sales outlets, we asked some of the businesses in the market what the mood of this Valentine’s season has been like.
For Ugochukwu Adaku, the Sales Manager of Cell Phone City, most players in the popular Ikeja technology cluster, “patronage of goods and services had reduced drastically since the beginning of this year.”
According to him, “the economic situation and present high exchange rate has really affected the way we buy and sell our goods. For instance, more than 20 people have come to ask for phones today, but only three out of them was able to buy because of the prices of the phone that increased drastically, which is not our fault.”
Market players say that the Naira hit another record low against the dollar and other major foreign currencies yesterday in the parallel market, as the scarcity of the foreign currencies continued to persist at both the banks and the black market.
The Naira, the Nigerian currency has fallen to N325 against the dollar making products to be exponentially high and difficult to afford by most customers.
According to Business Manager at Finet Experience Centre, who simply identified himself as Onyeka, Computer Village has continued to record dropping sales from the beginning of the year.
“Sales from January as been nothing to write home about but the situation had changed since the last three days”, Onyeka says adding that, “at least we have few customers coming to check what we are selling, compared to January.”
For him, despite the promo packages that was attached to every goods purchased during the season, “it was recorded that consumers are still complaining of the harsh economy”
Emmanuel Udoh, who happens to be a potential buyer at the Finet Center told Technology Times that, “I am here to buy a phone for my girlfriend as a Val’s gift but the one I really like is too expensive compare to the money I budgeted for it.”
According to him, “I have been in there for the past one hour but the situation is still the same. I think I will just go and get her something else like clothes or cake. When the price is stable, I will buy her the phone.”