Economic Crisis: The Traders Blues

8 years, 7 months ago - June 12, 2013
With the decline in customer transaction costs skyrocketing, traders are frown. The spectrum of the closure is omnipresent. It is a struggle every day for survival. The financial crisis had pointed the tip of his nose in Mauritius? Observation.

According to statistics, from 1 October 2006 to 31 January 2013, they are 175 361 traders have registered with the Registrar of Companies. And during the same period, 5,563 of them put the key under the mat. Is the effect of the crisis? Investigation.

Shortly before 15 o'clock on a Wednesday at Caudan Waterfront, a few dozen people loitering in the famous shopping mall. We note that the shopping spree is not required. Some stores are empty and the vendors seem to expect a client passes the threshold in this ordinary afternoon. This scene would become routine, evidenced by a saleswoman. Half an hour later, the manager of a reputable store prefer lower iron curtain: "There is almost no customers today, so I prefer to take a break and come back later. "

Why the decline in sales? Economist Eric Ng is the point. "An analysis of the first quarter of 2013 shows that sales declined after the festive period. In January, the Mauritians focus their spending on school supplies. This was followed by the period of Lent. And after floods, Mauritians were reluctant to make purchases, "he says.

According to the economist, Mauritians play the card of caution: "The crisis has been raging for four or five years and many Mauritians prefer to remain cautious in their purchases. In addition, the purchasing power has decreased. Those at the bottom feel the price increase. "

The country's economic growth will be affected, said Eric Ng. "It is good to know that consumption is three-quarters of the gross domestic product (GDP). If consumption slows, economic growth will decline permanently, "he adds.

Uma Lutchmun: "Some days are not actually selling"

The FirsTime store specializing in the sale of shoes and other leather belt, is not spared by the crisis. The saleswoman says Uma Lutchmun recent months, she found that businesses put the key under the mat one after the other. "Sales were down 75%. Lately, we have four to five potential customers every day. There are days where you do not actually selling. Even tourists are rare. Revenues from our store declined 50%, while operating costs have increased. Profits continue to plummet. This is the disaster. Many of us will lose our jobs if this situation continues, "she says.

Santosh Ramnoth, president of the Shop Owners' Association: "The worst is yet to come"

> What is the trend in sales over the last three years?

2013 remains a bleak year for retailers. Day by day, the situation worsens. The government does not help us. While sales decreased drastically, rental fees, electricity, phone and increase the operating permit. Business is bad and the worst is to come. We do not know what tomorrow will bring, because we do not have markers.

> Who is to blame?

The drop in sales is due to the financial crisis affecting all countries. Hypermarkets and supermarkets are engaged in a struggle to survive without thank you. They are only 1% to 2% profit on the products they sell. Customers are wary. They are cautious in their purchases. Honestly, many traders rely on officials to survive. In addition, the MRA does not spare us despite the losses. While we are suffering, hawkers working illegally. They have no operating costs or rental. This is unfair.

> Should we expect more layoffs and closures?

We can say that there will be closures and layoffs in the coming years. Many people will be unemployed. Recently, I went to a supermarket renowned high-Plaines Wilhems and I found that ten employees were sitting and discussing them, because there were no customers. Each year, nearly 100 businesses close their doors.

> How do you see the future in general?

I'm pretty mixed. For, on the one hand, there will always festive period to keep us afloat, but on the other, the government does not support us.

Competition is everywhere. There are more and more international fairs. Which penalizes businesses that invest hugely in terms of rent and import. The future is unclear.

> What is the trend in cities and rural areas?

In general, stores across the island to see their potential customers get about 14 hours. For restaurants, this is at noon for lunch the customer arises. I found that the crisis hit Le Caudan hard. Ditto for Cascavelle and Flacq. Grand Bay can survive. At city level, only Beau-Bassin/Rose-Hill and Port Louis have managed to stand out. Curepipe traders suffer greatly. The rental has reached astronomical sums. They are discouraged.

> What about the restaurant?

They also go through difficult times. They take loans and end up with profits far below their expectations. Renting is expensive. These restaurants sell more expensive alcoholic beverages to survive, but again, customers can not afford to buy.


Rakesh Tuhobul, restaurant manager Beer & Spice: "The customer has declined 75% in restaurants"

Rakesh Tuhobul, better known as Fowler is the restaurant manager at Spice Beer & Caudan Waterfront. According to him, the restaurateurs are also affected by the crisis. "2013 was a catastrophic year. Customer declined over 75%. The future for us the restaurant is very dark and we must fight to survive. Our turnover has fallen drastically.

We had to rethink our strategy, including the menus, "he says. Fowler said that some days it only accommodates 25 guests: "During the week, we welcome up to 75 guests. But we sometimes receive only 25. Weekends and holidays, it varies between 125 to 200 customers. Even tourists are cautious in restaurants. The days when the customer is relatively low, it releases half of our employees about 17 hours, while the closure is expected to 22 hours. Previously, we had to squeeze between the clients to move, but now it sits waiting for them. "

A saleswoman in an upscale store: "Now we feel the effects of the crisis"

Our interlocutor who wished to remain anonymous is a saleswoman in one of the largest shopping centers on the island. Specializing in the sale of alcoholic and other beverages high-end products, it argues that "sales are not very good." "The financial crisis has affected Europe during the past four years, but now that we feel in Mauritius. The rate of store sales dropped significantly. Business is quiet and the future is unclear. The same goes for the other stores, "she says.

Kunal Lukeeram of Bluesteel: "The designer stores are not immune"

One of the sellers of the brand Bluesteel Klubbing Gear indicates that the turnover of the brand fell by 50%. Lukeeram Kunal says that customers are scarce. "You can have thirty visitors a day, but only 10 are among potential buyers. People only buy during the festive seasons and special occasions. The competition is tough, but we have a loyal customer base. Other brand stores are not also spared, "he says. Also according to the young salesman, to remain competitive, the mark must regularly renew its collection.

Salim Muthy, social worker: "Increase the number of bankrupt companies"

For Salim Muthy, social worker and president of the Association of Victims of sale at the helm, the number of corporate bankruptcies has increased in recent times: "The Mauritian traders face the crisis and some have to choice but to put the key under the mat. As the resident of Rose Hill, aged 60, who had taken a loan of Rs 400,000 to open a snack. Finally, he found himself on the straw. He had to close his house and was sold to the bar. It is also the case that portlouisien couple. The husband took a loan to open a factory of underwear and he went bankrupt. His house was sold to the bar and the bank is claiming a portion of the loan. "


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