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Baby dolls, toy guns top Christmas shopping list

Baby dolls and toy guns are at the top of Christmas shoppers’ list as they look around for a good deal on the eve of Christmas.

Three shops visited on Monday by the Samoa Observer spoke of the challenges their businesses faced in a market wrecked by the measles epidemic, but the slow sales has not stopped customers from shopping around for good deals.

CCK Operations Manager, 32-year-old Taitua Dan, said they opened their Christmas sale last Friday and Saturday at the flea market at Malae-O-Fatu Park but nothing has changed.

“This year I think measles epidemic has really affected our sales and it's like we are down 20 per cent from last year,” she said.

“It’s very sad and we are trying to pick up but we are really slow from Friday, Saturday and till today there are hardly any people.”

When questioned on the toys that made the most sales, Mrs Dan said a lot of people went for toy guns.

“Most popular toys guns like the water guns and toy army guns that are the most popular toys and some people buy six or eight toy guns.”

Forty-year-old Louis Chan-Chui of the Nesian Gear shop in town expressed similar sentiments about the popular toys customers bought, saying a lot of customers also went for toy guns followed by bicycles.

But the impact of the measles epidemic on their daily sales was telling with Mr Chan-Chui saying they had less number of customers compared to last year. 

“I am expecting much lower sales this time because less people coming to their shopping, comparing to last year’s there were lots of numbers of kids coming to shop with their mothers,” he said.

“I have noticed there has been a big change with Christmas and its really slow now because of the measles epidemic that our country is facing.”

For the Emmareze clothing shop, remote control toys and baby dolls were the most popular amongst their customers, according to a staff member. 

“Our sales are mostly kids toys are remote control cars and baby dolls and these two toys are the most popular toy that people come and buy,” she said.

The 54-year-old shop assistant, who did not want to be identified, said one thing noticeable about their customers at this time of the year is that there are more adults shopping without their children.

One of the shop’s attendants, 45-year-old Losisiliafaga Sefo, said the shop is normally crowded at this time of the year. 

“Now we are only seen parents coming to buy their kids toys for Christmas just to show their love to them,” she said.

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