By Andrew Walyaula
The lessons drawn from Covid-19 pandemic have awakened the saving culture among many people. The consumers have learned to spend sparingly because of the unpredictability of the economy.
According to the British Independent Retailers Association (BIRA) people around the Globe are more conscious than before which is affecting how people are spending.
The study reveals that some households are hoarding the cash they saved during the lockdowns, some trooping for cheaper brands or sticking to the essentials.
Isaac Obuya, an economist and lecturer says the economy is at its knees, hence the reason for consumers to change the pattern of purchasing.
“People are living in fear of what may happen next. For instance, we are being warned against the fourth wave of Covid-19, which is projected to emanate from Europe,” Obuya says.
Individuals now have to ensure that they spend at a minimum cost so as to save for the future.
“Working from home also impacts the purchasing patterns, for example, people will not be buying clothes and cosmetics often like when they report to work,” the economist says.
He adds that the entrepreneurs who ventured into cosmetics and other pampering items including those in the houses may take time to recover. The current economy prompts people to have a second thought on what to buy and what not to purchase.
This is the situation in Kajiado North as retailers are only selling more essential goods than luxuries.
Traders at Kajiado and Isinya market reveal that clothes, furniture, and cosmetics are lacking customers.
“In a day I can only have three customers to buy furniture. The business has deteriorated until people are not even coming for window shopping,” Peter Mwikali says.
Despite advertising online, his business has remained stagnated, attributing this to the effects of the pandemic.
Mary Mugo, a resident of Kisaju says she is better-off buying food rather than pampering a house now.
“I better buy food and save for the future. I cannot buy house furniture now when the economy is already hit hardest. I have a TV set that I want to sell but there are no customers. This makes me value the coin at hand by saving rather than purchasing luxurious commodities,” Mugo says.
In supermarkets things are also the same. Shelves are flooded with essential items like cooking floor, sugar, cooking fat, and vegetables among others despite the taxman increasing their taxes up to 30 percent.
“It is the festive season, yes, but I have to think about 2022. What is more important is to ensure my family’s basic needs are met in terms of food, clothing and education,” Benjamin Koril says.