24 de febrero de 2021
ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS:
 1300x90
Hispanic World

Three Kings Day buying in Mexico only at 50 pct. due to pandemic

By Miquel Muñoz

By Miquel Muñoz

Mexico City, Jan 5 (efe-epa).- Traditional buying on Three Kings Day this year will be down by about 50 percent in Mexico due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit Mexicans' buying power very hard and forced the closure of non-essential businesses in important consumer economic centers like the capital.

The Confederation of National Chambers of Commerce, Services and Tourism (Concanaco) calculates that Three Kings sales nationwide will amount to some 8.7 billion pesos ($437 million), while last year they totaled 17.55 billion pesos ($892 million).

January 5 is the "high season" for the union of toymakers that in this pandemic has experienced "darks and lights," the president of the Mexican Toy Industry Association (Amiju), Miguel Angel Martin, told EFE.

"Economic power has been affected, there are other needs of greater priority. However, it's part of our culture. It's not something invented today, five or 20 years ago from consumerism," he said regarding gift-giving on Three Kings Day, Jan. 6, otherwise known as Epiphany.

However, the Concanaco numbers predict a dropoff in sales of almost 50 percent on the holiday because families have lost income and non-essential stores and businesses in a number of states have closed, whereas in recent years buying for Three Kings Day had been rising by 2.5-3.0 percent per year.

Toymakers expect to close the year with losses of about 15 percent compared with 2019, far from the 38 percent deficit that they had accumulated by last October, an improvement spurred above all by the Christmas and weekend promotions.

"Everything seems to point to the fact that at the end of the year we're going to have a loss of about 15 percent. This is $2.8 billion that we made last year, and we'll be getting something like $2.3 billion to $2.35 billion this year, probably," Martin said.

Despite the shutdown in activities, some toy points of sale like the capital's Sonora Market continue to operate with the permission of local authorities, but at a "very weak" pace.

"Honestly, (the season) is catastrophic," shopkeeper Estela Saucedo told EFE, adding that "The Kings have been difficult, whether monetarily or because people can't go out and about."

Saucedo calculated that her sales for Jan. 5 have fallen of by "about 70 percent" and that for many families "either they don't have the Kings, or it will be very minimal or they'll hold it later."

Shops like hers have been heavily affected by the mobility restrictions imposed in a country that has suffered more than 1.45 Covid-19 cases and almost 128,000 deaths during the pandemic.

The same thing is happening to Rosario Estrada, the daughter of a founder of Sonora Market, who estimated that she's selling "at about 25 percent of the normal rate" for this period in early January.

"It's going slowly, but we're moving forward," she said, encouraged a bit by being able to open now "from Monday through Sunday" after having had to close her doors for four months, from March through June.

"We've been hard hit. The crisis has hit us like everyone, but the important thing is that we're moving out of it. Most people are being able to get through this pandemic and get out of this year alive," said the Amiju president after agreeing that "the traditional sales channels and moving products were affected" by the closure of businesses.

The only sales sector that has benefited from the health lockdown has been the digital area, since Internet sales "had a really disproportionate growth" of 12 percent, quite a bit above the sector's expectations.

"We sold six pesos of every 100 online last year. And this year it's up at 18. ... We had growth that we had only expected over the next four or five years," said Martin about online sales.

Despite the difficulties, the toymaker said that Mexican children will not be forced to go without gifts on the traditional gift exchange date, an "historic tradition" in Mexico.

"You can take a child anything from a ball for 5 pesos to a toy for thousands, everything depends on your buying power," he emphasized.

Histórico de noticias
Miami's Virginia Key, a beach symbol of civil rights struggle

Miami, Feb 24 (efe-epa).- A beach in Miami stands as a symbol of the fight for civil rights. Virginia Beach in August 1945 was designated for the use of...

Tiger Woods seriously injured in one-car rollover crash near Los Angeles

Los Angeles, Feb 23 (efe-epa).- Golf icon Tiger Woods, who on Tuesday morning was injured in a one-car rollover crash in Los Angeles County, California, is...

Perez: Fraud, 16K inconsistencies in Ecuador presidential vote

Quito, Feb 23 (efe-epa).- Indigenous presidential candidate Yaku Perez said Tuesday that "more than 16,000 records with inconsistencies" have been detected...

Senate examines colossal security breakdown surrounding Capitol attack

Washington, Feb 23 (efe-epa).- The US Senate on Tuesday examined the "colossal" security breakdown that enabled angry supporters of then-President Donald...

NASA releases 1st video, audio of Perseverance landing on Mars

Miami, Feb 22 (efe-epa).- NASA on Monday released the first video of the landing of the Perseverance exploratory probe on Mars and also the first sounds...

Huawei vice president calls for global consensus on technological development

Mexico City, Feb 22 (efe-epa) - Latin America's challenge in improving Internet connectivity in rural and urban areas to reduce the digital divide, which is...

Supreme Court rejects Trump's attempt to keep tax returns hidden

Washington, Feb 22 (efe-epa).- The US Supreme Court on Monday rejected former President Donald Trump's refusal to turn over some of his tax returns to the...

If you want to forget about Covid-19, visit Haiti

Port-au-Prince, Feb 21 (efe-epa).- A year into the coronavirus pandemic, it is impossible to get away from the constant inflow of information about Covid-19...

US formally offers to restart talks with Iran, Washington media report

Washington, Feb 18 (efe-epa).- The Joe Biden administration has formally offered to restart nuclear talks with Iran, according to US media reports on...

Kamala Harris's stepdaughter makes debut as model in New York

New York, Feb 18 (efe-epa).- Ella Emhoff, the stepdaughter of US Vice President Kamala Harris, on Thursday made her debut as a model during New York Fashion...

Perseverance robot rover touches down safely on Martian surface

Miami, Feb 18 (efe-epa).- The Perseverance space probe has landed safely on Mars after successfully passing through the expected "seven minutes of terror"...

Mexico out front in pressuring UN to guarantee anti-Covid vaccine access

By Cristina Sanchez Reyes

Maduro: I had lots of contacts with Trump administration

Caracas, Feb 17 (efe-epa).- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Wednesday that his government had "heaps of contacts" with the Donald Trump...

Argentine kids return to class after almost a year of remote learning

By Rodrigo Garcia Melero

Former Trump casino demolished

New York, Feb 17 (efe-epa).- Atlantic City's Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, which welcomed the rich and famous for years, on Wednesday was demolished in a...

An order of tuna sashimi, please. Have the robot bring it to me!

By Marc Arcas

Brazil wraps up odd Carnival without samba but with clandestine parties

Rio de Janeiro, Feb 16 (efe-epa).- Brazil on Tuesday is wrapping up this year's Carnival, an unusual celebration given the lack of samba school parades, the...

Pelosi: Commission similar to 9/11 entity to investigate Capitol attack

Washington, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced Monday the creation of an independent commission that will examine the "facts and...

Biden prioritizes rescuing economy, fighting pandemic after impeachment

Washington, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- With the impeachment proceedings against former President Donald Trump now over, President Joe Biden is focusing on pushing...

Mexican president calls for urgent UN meeting over vaccine hoarding

Mexico City, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday that the United Nations should convene an "urgent meeting" to deal...

Trump holds onto GOP reins, wants to make senators voting to convict pay

By Beatriz Pascual Macias

Argentine president decrees 3 days of mourning for Menem

Buenos Aires, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- Argentine President Alberto Fernandez on Sunday expressed his "deep sorrow" over the death, and his "respect for (the)...

Impeachment managers: If Trump is acquitted he could foment violence again

Washington, Feb 11 (efe-epa).- Democratic congresspeople acting as the "managers" of ex-President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial on Thursday sought...

New York mayoral race attracting some 30 candidates

By Jorge Fuentelsaz