Mother's Day enables firm to cash in

Sales during the Mother’s Day long weekend has enabled local tailoring company Rimani Samoa to cash in on the occasion.

But the company’s co-owner, Laureen Lees-Vaai, says they are still a long way off from recovering from the economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic and the subsequent state of emergency (S.O.E.) lockdown.

In an interview with the Samoa Observer, she said they did not have time to prepare their Mother’s Day sales as they weren’t sure if the S.O.E. orders would be relaxed for church services to resume.

“Since it was the last week before Mother’s Day happened, we had no time to prepare because we didn’t know whether the SOE would be lifted for churches to happen again. When we heard the S.O.E. being lifted it was a little bit late to prepare so we had our last minute preparations,” she said.

“We also did an online advertisement because most of our customers were from overseas. So we mention on our online ad that if their mothers are stuck in Samoa because of the lockdown then they can order online and we will deliver it to their mothers or grandmothers.”

The company’s online marketing strategy helped to boost their sales, according to Ms Lees-Vaai.

“The items that were mostly sold during the weekend were our puletasi, the colored and white ones. They also ordered dresses and seis for their presents.”

And the business has had a lot of orders from abroad and locally recently, but the firm’s co-owner said their current sales did not match their pre-lockdown figures.

“Before the lock down we had huge sales because most of our customers are from overseas, but now since our borders are closed down, there is no way we could get our loyal customers orders across. But we are grateful for the sales that we get despite being still on lockdown,” she added.

At the Savalalo market, the days in the lead-up to the Mother’s Day long weekend would have been good for vendor and stall owner Menime Tala.

But the sale of her dresses including puletasi has become a challenge following the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“It’s a loss for me, sales were still slow, hardly anyone bought any of my dresses and puletasi that were hung up for sale,” she said.

“Most of my customers are tourists from overseas, hardly any locals buy from me. It’s just sad that our sales are really slow. I guess for some reason people have their own business to buy clothing from, some have their own tailors so it’s really hard for us who are vendors here at the market.”

Mrs Tala has been a market vendor for over five years and tourists were her main customers. 

And while business is proving to be at its slowest ever this year, she is just thankful she still runs and owns a business. 

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