Across Kampala, merchants are coming up against an unanticipated obstacle in the form of decreased sales just as kids prepare to head back to school for the third and final term of the academic year.
This unanticipated decline in revenue has been attributed to the skyrocketing cost of living and the high school fees, both of which have put a lot of parents in a difficult financial situation.
The reality has been rather different from the optimistic expectations that the back-to-school shopping season would boost the sales of merchants, which were relatively high. The merchants in the bustling center of downtown Kampala, typically where parents go on shopping sprees, are complaining about a noticeable decline in the turnout of customers.
Brian Mugerwa, a seasoned trader who operates in the downtown area of Kampala, offered his views and revealed that only a fraction of their typical customers purchased scholastic goods during the season, even though it is a customary shopping period for parents. Mugerwa’s store was experiencing a significant drop in business.
Mugerwa suggested that the fluctuating pricing of various imported scholastic resources may have discouraged clients from purchasing because they were more expensive.
The lack of available cash, made worse by the recent price increases in educational supplies, has compelled some parents to make challenging choices regarding allocating their funds for the upcoming school year.
When one considers the possibility that some parents may have chosen to shop for school supplies while their children were on break from school to prevent last-minute craziness, the picture gets even more complicated.
While merchants fight to stem the tide of falling sales, some children may be unable to leave their homes for weeks on end because their parents cannot come up with the money for the essential school fees. Learners at some schools are still struggling with outstanding fee balances from the previous academic term.
The back-to-school season, known for revitalizing Kampala’s commercial districts, has taken an unexpected turn this year due to the economic difficulties that both parents and business owners are experiencing.
Both parties involved are forced to grapple with challenging choices and uncertain futures due to the ongoing increase in the expense of schooling.