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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cancellation of celebrations brings no joy to local vendors

Cancellation of celebrations brings no joy to local vendors

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An i-Qlick (Cambodia) employee shows a prospective customer the functions on a Canon video camera during a sale on Diamond Island in Phnom Penh, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

An i-Qlick (Cambodia) employee shows a prospective customer the functions on a Canon video camera during a sale on Diamond Island in Phnom Penh, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

Vendors offering their goods over this year’s water festival have complained that sales have dropped sharply because of the cancellation of celebrations for the annual event.

Yesterday, the second day of the festival, some vendors claimed their sales had dropped sharply in comparison to previous years’ festivals.

The Cambodian government called off festival celebrations out of respect for the passing of former king Norodom Sihanouk in October.

Math Yousos, the executive director of Pich Beauty, a company that imports shampoo from Malaysia, said sales were only one-tenth of what they usually were during of the annual event, which draws hordes of people from Cambodia’s provinces to Phnom Penh.

“Many people come from provinces; they will travel and then do a lot of shopping. But when there is no festival, the only buyers are Phnom Penh residents,” he said, adding: “Phnom Penh residents use goods that are easy to buy, so they don’t buy so much.”

Yousos said that normally during the festival, his income was at least US$10,000 a day, but this year he earned  only about $1,000 a day.

Seng Rachny, a marketing executive at i-Qlick, a company that distributes Canon-branded electronics on Preah Sihanouk Boulevard, said sales were down about 30 per cent compared with the holiday period last year.

According to Rachney, revenue reached between $30,000 and $40,000 during the three-day holiday.

Despite the drop in sales, she said it was not a cause for concern for i-Qlick.

“We aren’t disappointed even though we don’t sell as much as last year,” she said, adding that “sales drop a little bit, but it doesn’t affect our company.”

Rachny said the holiday period, during which iQlick offers discounts on  products, was less an opportunity to increase sales and more a chance to publicise the brand.

“We offer discounts because we want to increase awareness of the Canon brand,” she said. “On a normal day, we sell a lot, but during special occasions we want many people to know about our company.”

An Deluch, director of SL Distribution Cambodia, an importer of foodstuffs from Vietnam, said he was willing to display his goods during the water festival despite the cancellation of the celebrations, because even though the same thing happened last year, the holiday still drew a crowd of people from the provinces to Phom Penh, “We display because we want others to know our newly imported products,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rann Reuy at reuy.rann@phnompenhpost.com

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