Former Stabroek Square fruit vendors, who have been relocated from the Parliament View Mall to the parapet of the former Guyana National Cooperative Bank (GNCB) building at Lombard and Hadfield streets, are reporting a rise in sales.
The vendors are allowed to ply their trade at the site from Monday to Thursday and on Saturday from 8 am to 6 pm. On Fridays, they cease operations at 5 pm to accommodate wholesale vendors.
It has been nearly three weeks since the vendors have been relocated from the Parliament View Mall, where they said they had lost a lot of business.
However, while many told Stabroek News that they are generating sales during the day at the new location, they still wish to return to the Stabroek Square, where their operations were more profitable.
“This is better than being inside there [Parliament View Mall] because some days we didn’t get any sales… but it is still not a hundred per cent, some days we have to be pushing carts to get sales,” explained Vanessa Samuels.
Samuels said while there is a heavy movement of persons in the area, people are not shopping. She said she is grateful that the council listened to their pleas for relocation. “We are able to make a $4,000 now but when we were in there [Parliament View Mall] we does barely mek a $500,” Samuels explained.
“$500 was big money in there. When you get the $500 you see Jesus,” interjected a nearby vendor.
However, she complained that while the council prevented them from selling at Stabroek Square, other vendors, who are selling alcoholic beverages, phone cards, bread and other items, are being allowed to sell there, which she believes is unfair. She also pointed out that vendors from the Stabroek Bazaar would also take up spaces and vend at the square.
She pointed out that in the vicinity of the Stabroek Square, they would make over $10,000 per day. “We hoping we would get a good Christmas,” she added.
“I feeling good and I getting sales. Some days I use to sell $400 a day but now I am able to make more,” another vendor, Faye (only name given), added.
She said that since she has returned to the road, she has been able to find old customers.
Other vendors said the business is not as profitable as they had expected, however, they would make the best of it. “Sometimes we walk around and sell because if we sit down nobody would give us anything,” a vendor added.
The fruits vendors are just some of the vendors who were evicted from the Stabroek Square subsequent to a massive clean-up earlier this year. Their removal had sparked several picketing demonstrations.