SUNBIZ

The Merch Launches Kids Market Day

Owned and managed by Watison Nata, The Merch yesterday launched Kids Market Day.
09 Feb 2020 10:01
The Merch Launches Kids Market Day
From left: Iris Bentely and Scarlet Fisher at their stall on February 8, 2020. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Traffic jam, a live band music, fast food, and thousands of people set the scene in motion at The Merch in Suva yesterday.

The al fresco ambience made for what felt like a truly great family fun day outdoors in the intermittent sprinkle of rain.

It also provided the perfect platform to bump into old friends in the city.

The Merch is an online retail market for local homeware that stocks general second-hand, good-as-new household products such as furniture, bedding, power tools, kitchen appliances and more imported from Australia and New Zealand.

The Merch is located at Shop 10B Lees Bakery Building, Centrepoint, Laucala Beach Estate.

Owned and managed by Watison Nata, The Merch yesterday launched Kids Market Day.

Following its success, the Kids Market Day is expected to continue every quarterly, Mr Nata said.

Watisoni Nata. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Watisoni Nata. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

The Kids Market Day was the culmination of concerted efforts between the Fiji Social Media Entrepreneurs Community and The Merch.

Over 100 people were gathered outside the closed doors of The Merch as early at 9am to grab easy deals on homeware and white goods.

The event was scheduled to start at 10am.

The Merch

“The whole market concept started when relatives started asking me to sell their products in my store,” Mr Nata said.

“They wanted me to sell things that they prepared from home, like food and handicraft.

“The items they wanted to sell were not in synch with homeware I sell.

“So I started The Merch last year by pitching a tent by the road side, plugged in a surround speaker and displayed everything for sale.

“We even called passers by to come over to check out what were on sale.

“We hustled.”

Creativity and consistency propelled The Merch to greater heights, promising as much of a hint of it developing into an occasional trade festival in the years ahead.

Since its first road side display, The Merch has maintained its regular traders, who sell pot plants, fast food and handmade homeware to name a few, aside from the white goods, furniture.

A lawyer by profession, Mr Nata said he started The Merch as a side business.

“But demand got bigger, so I gave up my work to pursue this.

“As it is, The Merch can barely meet the local demand,” he said.

Scores of people were seen walking out of showrooms with a whole host of items.

“I do my competitive shopping and I make sure its cheaper.

“Beacause I don’t offer warranty on my products, I have to drop the price.”

Kids Market Day

The continued success of The Merch prompted Mr Nata to use the event to launch the Kids Market Day.

The Merch launches new stock every two to three months, he said.

Close to 60 children took to their own stalls selling food items and crafted homemade goods for sale.

“One child sold his first t-shirt after which we heard him say, “Dad, Dad, we sold our first tshirt, can we go to the bouncy castle now?”

The Kids Market Day was an innovative avenue to allow children to learn of and demonstrate entrepreneurial skills.

“There were around 25 tables booked, but we closed bookings ahead of time because we were inundated with overwhelming interest from vendors.

Fiji Social Media Entrepreneurs Community comprises small business owners who connect daily on digital platforms such as Facebook and Viber, representing a wide range of business sectors.

“They volunteered their kids naturally.”

Students of International School Suva entertaining the crowd. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Students of International School Suva entertaining the crowd. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj

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