Firms in mixed emotions as Christmas nears
Local businesses have spoken of the mixed emotions experienced in their interaction with customers as they try to promote their Christmas sales.
Five companies interviewed by the Samoa Observer say they are trying their best to promote the Christmas spirit but the impact of the measles epidemic and its death toll is always on the minds of people and they understand that it is a difficult period.
Island Rock Company Ltd Information Technology Manager, Rev. Sealii Faigaa said the spirit of Christmas has always been part of the company’s plans at this time of the year.
“Just looking at their faces and bringing them that smile, that’s what we’re all trying to do as businesses,” he said.
The impact of the health crisis was not lost on Business System Limited Customer manager Leeroy Feaunati, who said while sales were slow, but they’ve found ways to promote a sense of festivity for the shoppers.
“We can’t ignore the spirit of christmas, it’s usually always here as it is our busiest time,” he said.
“It’s different now because of the measles, we barely see anyone come in.”
Mr Feaunati also said that the BSL expected a number of orders of the state of emergency, but will still spread the cheer to all those who went to any of their three main branches.
The absence of customers has also got Nerisa Smith, a sales representative of the Nesian Clear store at the SNPF plaza in Savalalo, concerned.
“They come by and look at the toys, and they talk about what to get their kids, but I know that it’s hard to celebrate anything at a time like this,” she says.
“We are just trying our best to give them what they want this Christmas.”
Tofilau Genevieve Pupi, founder and Manager of Mercy’s Kiddies Shop in Saleufi, said that as a country founded on God, her store will find a way to make people feel comfortable, and allow businesses like her own to lift their spirits this Christmas season.
“I have a heart for the people as I have been serving them as a businesswoman for over 20 years. The Christmas spirit this year has definitely changed, and it’s sad for us at this time and we all pray that all goes well for the people of Samoa and that everyone will have a good Christmas,” she said.
Bluebird Lumber and Hardware Sales Manager, Eddielow Lee Chee, echoed similar sentiments and said they will try their best.
“I believe that we are having Christmas promotions like these is so that Bluebird and other companies can be doing as much as possible to say thank you to everyone in Samoa who supports us during these difficult times.”