Extra opening hours for market well received
When the caretaker Government extended the trading hours for all markets as well as flea markets to 8 p.m., it provided an extra cushion to sell for vendors of the Fugalei market.
Matalena Tamasi of Falealupo, Savaii said that the two hour extension allowed them to sell extra products, especially coconuts on Wednesday night and firewood on Friday and Saturday nights.
“Everything here was brought from Falealupo Savaii. The coconut, pawpaws, koko samoa, bananas and firewood were supplied from our land in Savaii. We know it is better to bring them here. We get $150 to $200 profit a day, depending on the sales. Some days are slow and we get $80 or less,” said Tamasi.
“We paid $6 for one block and we have four blocks inside the whole market so we pay $30 every day. The extra two hours from the caretaker government allows us to sell more coconut (niu) at night and on Friday night and Saturday night, we sell out all our fire wood as people prepare their Sunday umu.”
Tamasi said that her brother Paulo always supplies their firewood and food products from Falealupo on Friday or Monday each week. She said that when the market closes at 8 p.m., they move on to the foot path outside of the market to continue selling, especially during the weekend.
She hopes for the state of emergency restrictions to ease up soon so they can sleep in the market and sell their product anytime they want.
The change in hours for markets were announced in the 49th amended state of emergency (S.O.E.) orders approved by the Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II and issued on 22 May.
The new orders give market stall owners an additional two hours of business from Monday to Saturday, effective 22 May 2021 with their closure time set at 8 p.m.
The extended hours apply to the Savalalo, Fugalei, Salelologa, Vaitele, Taufusi, and Afega markets to include all flea markets, fish markets or any market to which the public has access.
The markets “are permitted to open from Monday to Saturday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and no person is to sleep overnight at any marketplace” the orders read.
Supermarket opening hours remain the same: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through to Saturday and 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
All other businesses must close on Sunday except for small shops which may operate from 3 p.m. Petrol stations and pharmacies are also allowed to operate on Sunday, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.