Exhibitors Grumble over Sluggish Sales


By Petronella Sibeene


Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) at the Windhoek Agricultural and Industrial show have complained about slow business at this year’s annual event.

Walton Domingo, an entrepreneur from Grootfontein who is exhibiting at the show for the first time, said since the show opened business has gone down.

On the opening day and Saturday, most SMEs sold a considerable number of items but by Monday, the sales had dropped.

“We hope that on the last day, people will come in big numbers and support us,” he said.

He views the show as a platform where he can get some ideas on improving his products and expand his business.

Domingo is in the business of selling handcrafts and shoes imported from Zambia.

Apart from complaining about low sales, SMEs have also expressed dissatisfaction with the materials used to erect shades (shelter) for their merchandise.

The stalls are roofed with white-sack materials, which many players in this sector say do not protect their goods from the scorching sun.

Sylvester Mushingwa said: “We expected the show society to put up proper shade nets but allegedly they are so expensive,” he said.

He also bemoaned poor business, adding that traditionally mid-week has few people compared to weekends.

He added that the show is not just a place for selling merchandise but also offers a platform where the latest ideas in the market and inspiration can be sourced.

Although dissatisfied about other services, SMEs have commended the show society for increased security.

Quite different from SMEs selling non-food items, food stalls specializing in preparing and selling cultural foods such as the common “marathon” chicken and traditional drink Oshikundu have been all smiles at the show.

Despite costing as much as NS98.00 for a whole chicken, Uusiku Hertha said the demand for her cuisine is high with average sales of about seven birds.

“The business is good. People are buying Malovu, chicken, and spinach,” she said.

Business picks up especially during lunch time and in the evening.

The annual Windhoek Show started last Friday with 32 398 people passing through the gates in the first three days.

President of the Windhoek Show Society, Harald Schmidt, said the figure was 7 000 less than that of the same period last year.

The show will officially be opened today by Vekuii Rukoro, president of the Employers Federation and ends on Saturday.


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