Whether they are international, national or local, the meetings of traders that take place in Ecuador are a productive engine. The retailers see these spaces as an opportunity to offer their products and that these have greater reception among diners and customers. To be part of these initiatives, artisans, small producers and microentrepreneurs register for free in the Provincial Council of Pichincha.
On a “normal” day, in its food business, in the center-south of Quito, Angélica Chinachi sells approximately 40 lunches, which represents an income of $ 80, but her profit improves three times a year when she participates in the fairs that take place in Eloy Alfaro square, in the sector of Villaflora, in the south.
Every Holy Week (April), Day of the Dead (November) and during the celebration of the Foundation of the capital (December), she and 25 other merchants from four associations set up their businesses in that public space. Chinachi informs that during the days of fair, its income reaches up to $ 500.
Her and her sister Lucia prepare the traditional fanesca and sell it for $ 3.50. To attract more clients, they put together combos that include fanesca, molo (mashed potatoes) and a dessert: figs with cheese or arroz con leche for $ 5.
The sisters have always been merchants. The work they learned from their mother Juana Aguas, who in the 90s, sold clothes and traveled to the Ecuadorian coast to participate in the fairs that were held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
In Ecuador, the sector of retail or retail trade is composed of 232,760 establishments that declared this activity in the 2010 National Economic Census, that is, 46.53%. This sector includes activities related to the sale of: food, beverages and tobacco (50.5%); clothing, footwear and leather goods (10.9%); pharmaceutical, medicinal, cosmetic and toiletries (4.7%); books, newspapers and stationery (3.2%); household electrical appliances, furniture and lighting equipment (3%) and other retail trade activities (23.3%); The economist Marco Antonio Salas explains that the retail sector is one of the most dynamic in the region and the world economy.
This is reflected in the participation of Latin American countries as destinations for international retail trade, according to the 2012 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI) of the consultancy A.T. Kearney3 Guadalupe Hidalgo is the president of the Eloy Alfaro Plaza fair.
While she calls his clients with her hands to buy her fanesca she says that, although the fair is organized by the Zonal Administration of that sector of the city, it is the merchants who carry the tents, the tables and the chairs for the use of the customers. Hidalgo is from Ambato. There she learned how to make Jucho, a type of fruit salad that contains twelve of those seasonal foods and that she baptized as fanesca de dulce.
This dish along with other typical will be sold to the public until 20:00 on Sunday, April 21. In the center of the capital, in the plaza of the Provincial Council of Pichincha (CPP), a fair was also installed. The space called “Dejando Huella” is made twice a month since the second quarter of 2018.
Geovanny Espinosa, spokesman for the Government of Pichincha, reports that more than 400 producers have participated in these spaces. Although it does not handle a figure on the economic impact of the fairs, it stands out that artisans, small producers and merchants, in general, reactivate their economy and that of their locality.
An example of this is that in their businesses, whether on the street or in a specific site, the profit is $ 50, while when they exhibit their products in the square, their profit reaches up to $ 300. Unlike the municipal fairs, the CPP takes care of all the logistics. They place the tents, tables and chairs in which the merchants set up their businesses.
Espinosa adds that all the people who want to participate in one of the spaces of “Dejando Huella” can do it for free, by registering in the CPP. The space provides advice on accounting and administration issues and is open to men and women with no age limit, gender or nationality distinction.
Days ago a couple of Venezuelans went to the CPP. They received training, participated in the fairs and now own a local arepas in which they give work to two other people. In addition to prepared foods, at the fairs are also those who market the inputs for the preparation of typical dishes: farmers and small producers.
To this group the artisans of all types they take advantage of that space in which people concentrate -mainly- to eat and offer their decorative creations. Fairs are one of the most useful tools in the cost / effectiveness in the current market, says Marketing expert Julio Herrera.
From the standpoint of their specialty these ventures are an opportunity to gain market share and strengthen a certain brand image in the most economical and efficient way, since a direct interaction between buyer and seller is established, allowing, on the one hand, to capture new customers and, on the other, accelerate the purchase process.
Data provided by the Simmons Market Research Bureau for the AF point out that close to 54% of the potential customers contacted at the fairs do not require subsequent visits to close a sale, which is a great time saving and demonstrates the fast customer acquisition.
To this is added that 71% of visitors share the information they get at the fairs with approximately six people when they return to their homes or businesses. In this way the information is multiplied very quickly, and the format of the fair ends up functioning as propaganda.
In the country, a percentage of merchants that are part of the fairs do not have a specific site and work in the streets. At fairs they do not worry about control in the public space. In 2018, the Metropolitan Control Agency sanctioned 820 vendors for not having licenses. So far in 2019 there are 94. At present and nationwide, three million Ecuadorians depend on the informal business. (I)