The temporary location of the Sukawati Market in Bali’s Gianyar Regency, while a new and more modern public market is built, has become the object of widespread complaints from traders who lament a lack of customers.
The traders from the “old” market who quickly occupied the temporary kiosks built for their use at the temporary market now spend their time on social media expressing unhappiness at the lack of customers. As reported by NusaBali, one trader, I Nyoman Suardika, in promoting the market cynically wrote: “Please stop by the relocated Sukawati Public Market in Banjar Gelumpang, Sukawati, where basic commodities are available such as religious ritual paraphernalia, cloth, adult and children’s wear – enter from Pantai Purnama road off Jalan Bypass Ida Bagus Mantra. Rice terraces surround us, and cool breezes that lull traders to sleep because they have no customers.”
While some traders cite the location of the temporary market as too remote from the original market’s site, the head of Gianyar’s Department of Industry and Trade (Disperindag), Eka Suary, replies: “We can’t force people to shop. The reason is that people have no money.”
Some kiosks at the temporary market are closed while others are manned from morning until late afternoon with few purchasers to be seen.
One vegetable seller, Hendrik Sutarjana, claims the lack of customers have compelled him to seek a new sales outlets, “My mother and I sold vegetable in the old market and were required to move to the temporary market. The management of the temporary market is good, but its location is too far from the old market, forcing us to look for a new place to sell our perishable goods,” he said.
When visited by NusaBali on Tuesday, 17 November 2020, the market was found very quiet and lacking in customers. At 6:00 am, when a market is usually busy, no cars and trucks filled with goods and merchandise were to be found. Many kiosks remained closed. Those that remained open were staffed by traders confused by the lack of business.
When the head of Gianyar’s Department of Industry and Trade (Disperindag), Eka Suary, was contacted for comment on the empty relocated Sukawati market, he said: “Other markets are experiencing a similar situation. The COVID Pandemic is the main cause of the lack of business. We cannot force people to shop. The reason is that people have no money. Hotel employees who have been terminated from employment are now working as traders. But, still, at the same time, there are no shoppers.”
Suary has convened meetings with district, village, and community leaders to seek a solution to supplement customer flows. He said measures to remove the recent proliferation of roadside traders in the area and urge them to return to the relocated market are being tried.
Suary said he is writing to the temporarily relocated market occupants urging them to return to their kiosks. Law enforcement has been asked to close down roadside sellers. Meanwhile, work has restarted on constructing the new Sukawati Market that will open in its former location.