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Cement in tots: New trend of cement retail emerges in Kumasi



Some businesses are devising more ingenious ways to survive the extreme competition they face in the market, especially in cement sale.

The challenge, therefore, has resulted in a creative way of retailing cement in Kumasi in cans and other plastic containers.

A visit to Railways Line, a suburb close to Alabar and the Central Market revealed that some retailers have heaped in small containers -- the cement is sold in bits and pieces other than in bags.

One of such innovative retailers is 20-year-old Faila Salifu, who does not have enough money to rent a shop or buy in large quantities to retail.


With a bag of cement selling at an ex-factory price of between 29 Ghana Cedis and 35 Ghana Cedis sales has dwindled drastically with retailers being at the receiving end.

Faila Salifu who has been in this business for the past three years is happy at the prospects of selling in small containers.

“In a day I can sell either two or three bags, the business is good, there are no jobs so this is what I am doing”, he said.

Prices range from the small ‘magarine’ container which is 3 Ghana Cedis, the ‘olonka’ goes for 7 Ghana Cedis, while the rubber paint is 9 Ghana Cedis.

This style of retailing used to be peculiar with grains and cereals.

But perhaps the complexity of the market and the quest to make income is pushing it to other commodities.

Forty-three-year-old Yaw Amankwaa has been doing this for seven years. But competition has eaten into his sales.

“I used to sell seven bags a day. It has reduced because now a lot of people are getting into this business,” he complained.

According to him, he started at the Railways Line (an area close to Central Market), but it has now spread to Aboabo Station, Sofoline and other areas.

So as with every business, the customer will almost always dictate how products are sold.

 “If I need little cement for the job I am doing then I buy it, in fact, it really helps my business but with cement when you keep it open it for a long time , it loses its potency,” Kubina Okyem, a mason said.

Kofi Sarfo, a tiler at Maxima Junction in Kumasi has been patronising what has become known as 'cement-in- tots’ is happy at the develop because he is able to save some money on the product.

“As little as 5 Ghana Cedis, I can buy what I need, so I don’t waste cement and money,” he said.

For young Salifu, “one would only complain about no work if they are lazy to work.”

Story by Prince Appiah

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