Shoppers flock to Seychelles’ capital for last-minute gifts, but feel squeezed by rupee’s devaluation
With only hours left before the wonder of Christmas morning, shoppers are flocking to the Seychelles capital, Victoria, to buy their last-minute gifts.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the soaring in prices of commodities, shoppers are still buying — but expressing concern that they are getting less for their money than in previous years.
SNA took to the streets to talk to shoppers and vendors on Wednesday.
Kurtis Quatre said that like many others, he is looking forward to Christmas.
“It’s a really tough time for everybody, but the holidays are always a really fun time when we spread a lot of cheer. I think people are just really trying to bring that into their lives a little bit this year given the current economic situation,” said Quatre.
He added that “it is a bit packed in town today so I am rushing to complete my shopping. The last thing that is left for me to do is to buy a Christmas cake. This is customary every year during Christmas.”
Despite the rise in prices, people are still buying although there are concerns about getting less for the money than before. (Daniel Laurence, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
Another shopper, Deloress Alphonse, told SNA that “with the devaluation of the rupee, we are feeling the effect. Today I have brought my son with me for some shopping and to buy gifts for the family. Although we are on a tight budget, we want to make everyone on our list happy with a small gift. This year the family is going to meet up at my mum’s place for a gathering.”
The owner of Laura’s Toy Shop, which opened three years ago, Laura Dingwall, said that people began surging in the shop two weeks ago to buy toys for their children.
“We are having some specific items that are moving really fast. These are remote control cars for boys, and for girls, and our Barbie dream house set. However, I have noticed that this time around shoppers have come a bit late for their shopping,” said Dingwall.
However, with the rising number of unemployment and uncertainty for future many families are less able or willing to spend on gifts but rather buy necessities.
“Care packages and greeting cards, in particular, are in strong demand, said a shopkeeper of a stationery shop, adding that “since money is an issue, many parents are buying stationeries as gift for their kids to go to school in January.”