Second-hand clothing importers and retailers in the Kumasi metropolis say the coronavirus pandemic is negatively impacting their businesses.
They said aside from the inability to import the clothes into the country, the current stocks have become expensive, making it difficult for the retailers to buy for onward sale to customers.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi on the effects of the pandemic on their businesses, the importers said the pandemic had taken a heavy toll on their activities.
Madam Gloria Osei, a wholesaler at the Kumasi central market, said because there were no imports into the country, the prices of the limited stock had gone up.
Besides, traders were making fewer sales because most customers feared they could contract the virus through the use of second-hand clothes.
Madam Adwoa Sarfowaa, a retailer, told the Ghana News Agency that the closure of schools had also contributed to the low patronage of second-hand clothes.
“Our businesses are going down due to the closure of schools, especially tertiary institutions because they are the people who purchase our clothes,” she said.
Sarfowaa said aside from the increases in the price of the clothes, people were also afraid of wearing second-hand clothes, which were mainly imported from America, Italy and China, countries in which many people died from the virus.
She said the government needed to assist the businesses in the sector.
Most people in Kumasi refer to second-hand clothes as “Bend Down Boutique” because they are mostly displayed on the ground for people to make their selections.
The fact that second-hand clothes could be contaminated by the coronavirus from the country of origin, has heightened the fear of many people who used to buy them.
Again, since most buyers of second-hand clothing rummage the clothes several times before making a choice, some people are afraid of possible transmission of the virus onto the clothes by infected persons.
Additionally, customers do not practice social distancing, since they always overcrowd to make their choices.
All these have conspired to heighten the fear of many people who used to patronize the clothes, dealing a blow to wholesalers and retailers in Kumasi.