CHRISTMAS LOOKING BLEAK FOR VENDORS - Sellers hoping they will see more buyers soon

December 23, 2017
Vendors take over the sidewalk, forcing pedestrians to walk in the busy roadway in downtown Kingston, earlier this week.

Veteran vendors in downtown Kingston are complaining that this Christmas season has been particularly slow because the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation has relaxed the illegal vending rules which has caused more vending than buying.

Pointing to the plethora of vendors who are sprawled out on Beckford Street, two vendors said that two years ago no one was allowed to lay out their goods on the street unbothered.

"The road free two years now and selling deteriorate. The original sellers like we suffer the consequences because the new sellers them run in and buy and sell. Dem nuh know how to hold price pon nothing because them hungry. So them just sell and go home," said Keisha Williams, who has been selling goods in downtown Kingston for 17 years.

THE STAR made efforts to contact the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation to confirm the vendors' claims, but calls to their phones went unanswered.


Meanwhile, Williams said that the extension of the opening hours of stores within the vicinity also contributes to their low sales this year.

"Mi never see stores opening up so late yet. We have to buy from them and come out here and sell, and them still open so they can sell it cheaper," Suzette Waugh said.

Another vendor, Trisha Moore, who has been selling in the area for more than 15 years, said that it's the first Christmas since she has been vending that she is not able to complete a full sale and restock her goods.

"Years gone by mi woulda sell off and go buy back some more stuff, but now mi haffi watch how much mi buy," Moore said. "It is the worst year from mi start sell out here, and mi start from I was 15 years old," she said.

But even with the low sales, the vendors said that they are hoping that things will pick up as Christmas Day approaches.

"We can't stop. Because we still haffi eat food. So we just have to hope that by tomorrow [today], tings will pick up," Moore said.

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