Uniform shops, book stores and retail outlets in the city recorded brisk business despite the “January disease” associated with a shortage of cash due to overspending during the long festive season.
Some suppliers of school wear had to reinforce their security and forced shoppers to queue outside to reduce overcrowding inside their outlets.
“The shop is small and can only take up to 20 shoppers at a time to avoid overcrowding,” said one parent queuing outside Metro Trading uniforms centre.
Even on the pavements, school wear dealers in downtown Harare recorded brisk business as some parents preferred to buy cheaper uniforms from informal traders.
Patrick Mukaro, a “pavement” dealer said business was good especially after Christmas. “Our business is at its peak now,” he said. “Sales might drop next week as schools open. These day residents seem to spend less money during the festive season in order to save cash for January.”
Bigger retail shops like OK, Afrofood and Spar were also busy with parents and children pushing food trolleys and arguing amongst themselves over grocery lists.
Banks were also busy as parents rushed to deposit schools fees for their children ahead of opening of schools. Last week, parents were also seen queuing outside Schools such as David Livingstone outside the city centre, trying to secure grade one places for their children.
There were reports that some parents had to spend nights queuing to secure places for their children. The opening of schools this week is reportedly in doubt as teachers have threatened to strike if government does not award them salary increments by Wednesday this week.