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EXTEND TRADING HOURS: Inadequate trading time worries consumers

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Consumers in the country have expressed worry over the inadequate trading hours that most businesses operate in a week.

A snap survey by Times in the commercial capital, Blantyre, has revealed that most businesses are closed for two hours each day at lunch during weekdays and do not open on Sundays.

The snap survey also revealed that the businesses close at exactly 5 pm during weekdays, thereby leaving no room for working class.

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Jimmy Phiri, a resident of Chilomoni in Blantyre said he would have loved if businesses extended working hours to accommodate all Malawians.

“Look here, I work with one of the manufacturing companies in Blantyre. In the current setup, the only time I could go into town and get one or two things for my home is at lunch hour.

“But unfortunately most of our shops are also closed at lunch hour which makes life difficult for me,” he said.

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According to Phiri, this has resulted in many people running away from their respective workplaces in between working hours just to get merchandise in shops.

Another resident, Patson Mwale, a member of the Seventh day Adventist Church says he feels disadvantaged by the current setup in as far as shopping is concerned.

“Normally, I am busy during weekdays and do not find ample time to go into town and buy things in the shops.

“On Saturdays when most shops are open, am in church. Come Sunday, when I am free and want to do my shopping, the shops are closed,” he said.

Douglas Kaloti from Chirimba agrees with Phiri and Mwale that something needs to be done to increase the number of trading hours in Malawi.

He said stories are told of other countries where people do shopping even at night, which provides ample time for all classes of people.

“By extending trading hours, ship owners stand to benefit as it would mean more business,” said Kaloti.

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