Cold spell has business sneezing

By Mvelo Mthiyane Zondo


GWANDA – LAST week’s cold spell left businesses sneezing and their profits
heading southwards, Ilanga has established.
A snap survey conducted by this publication revealed that the graph of sales
declined effectively from the start of cold weather, a negative development that left
small and medium enterprises counting their losses.
For instance, during cold periods, consumers usually spend more time indoors,
unlike in developed countries where shoppers go online for their shopping, which
boosts e-commerce sales.
Food and Beverages outlet owner, Sibangani Ndlovu, said at one time he
contemplated closing shop.
“Business is extremely low these days. Since the beginning of this cold weather our
clients decreased significantly.
“During busy days we would sell between 70 and 100 plates, now we are below 50
plates which is not healthy, considering that I pay rent and have workers who will be
expecting their dues on month end,” said Ndlovu.
Memory Chigonero, who is employed as a sales representative at a clothing mini-
market shop, said business was low.
“Selling clothes is very tricky because these days people are not keen on clothing,
but would prefer putting food on their tables.
“To make the situation worse, the current cold spell has impacted negatively on our
line of business.”
“During such weather conditions, people prefer to stay indoors. I remember two
weeks ago when it was drizzling, I recorded zero sales, which is not good for
business,” said Chigonero.
Owner of T K Motors, an indigenous garage, also expressed similar sentiments, as
did other entrepreneurs.
“Generally, business is usually low during the cold weather. Fine, in business there
are always highs and lows, so we cannot always be cry-babies.
“Personally, as a motor garage owner, I think the focus should change from
expecting profits to servicing our machines since there will be no clients during this
“Having done that, the moment business normalises the machinery will be well
serviced and ready to give clients a perfect job,” said the garage owner.

When this publication visited Gwanda OK supermarkets, the resembled that of rural
general dealer’s shop.
For example, out of eight tills atone supermarket, there was only one till operator
busy, an indication that business was at its lowest point due to cold spell.
However, if businesses are not prepared to handle disruptions, they may see a
decrease in their profits.
Cold weather can also affect consumer behaviour. For example, studies have shown
that exposure to sunlight can increase levels of consumption and the amount spent
per item.
This means that during periods of cold or cloudy weather, businesses may see a
decrease in sales.

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