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Sep 19, 2011

EXPO Marketplace 2011; a success especially for phone companies

Over five thousand visitors entered the gates of the IT-VET on Saturday and Sunday for the 2011 Expo Marketplace. According to the Chamber of Commerce, there were a hundred and forty exhibitors in the two day event. From well established to smaller businesses and organizations featured their wares at discounted prices, hoping to boost sales. News Five’s Delahnie Bain visited the expo.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

It’s the biggest shopping event of the year and over the past weekend; thousands of Belizeans once again flocked to the IT-VET compound for the Expo Marketplace 2011. As always, there were unbelievable deals on cell phones and electronics.

Vicky Thadhani

Vicky Thadhani, Owner, Go Wireless Direct

“We manufacture our own phones so basically we’re trying to feature that. We have these touch screens—we have three models; it’s GT 1, GT2 and GT3. These are fully featured phones; duals sim, Bluetooth, memory card slot and we have that for one-forty-nine. That’s an amazing deal for a touch screen phone. We also are featuring this brand that we’re promoting, Plum.”

Karan Sabnani

Karan Sabnani, Co-Owner, Cellular World

“At Cellular World it’s our eighth year tradition at the Expo show grounds. We know people come out here all the time to support us so we really came out here this year to cater again for the people. We’re giving them phones as low as thirty-nine dollars, touch screen phones as low as a hundred and forty-nine dollars. We have androids which is the new thing, iPhones—everyone wants an iPhone, Android—for as low as three hundred, four hundred bucks.”

Mohit Budhrani, Owner, VIP Wireless

Mohit Budhrani

“We had tons of deals this year. We had phones starting at thirty-five dollars going up. We had some great deals on touch screen phones for one-seventy-five. We had iPhones, iPads; a lot of deals going on.  This is gonna be our fifth year doing the expo.”

Delahnie Bain

“And how has that affected business for you all, like outside of the Expo?”

Mohit Budhrani

“Well everyone saves up for expo. You know expo is two things; it’s phones and toilet paper, everyone knows that. So we do the best. Is you look around, our booths are crowded.”

There’s no denying that there were plenty shoppers picking up toilet paper. But there were discounts on many other grocery items.

Karyn Castellanos, Marketing Mgr, Santiago Castillo Group of Companies

Karyn Castellanos

“Of course, we brought a good variety of key grocery items like

Ovaltine, Tulip, different Malt-O-Meals cereals, ColCafe, a lot of snacks. So we brought a good variety.  We have our bar—we’re distributors for Appleton drinks so we have a mini-bar. Three dollars for drinks; they have a variety of mixed drinks so that’s bringing the people over also. The weather is getting a bit better so that’s good also. We have Gatorade, red bull, magnum and like I said, the different drinks that we have. Also, we’re doing a promotion where you buy a drink and you get a condom, one of the new lines of items that we have.”

Lydia Guerra

And of course, those with a passion for fashion had many options to choose from with prices they couldn’t resist.

Lydia Guerra, Administrative Assistant, Mirage Group of Companies

“Mirage is agent for K-Swiss so we have a variety of K-Swiss. We have Converse tennis, we have Adidas; a big assortment of tennis. We also brought clothing, blouses, shoes, pants and they’re all on sale; all of them have big deals.”

Rodrigo Gonzalez, Head Salesman, Wings Department Store

Rodrigo Gonzalez

“We sell a little bit of everything. We sell baby items, household items and we general mostly concentrate on a large boutique selection that we have for children, women and males. We have a footwear department.  Unfortunately, for today we could not bring out everything.  We brought out items that we thought would do well and we put really ridiculous prices on them and yeah, it has been very good.”

This year saw several newcomers at the Expo, including the young entrepreneurs of the Youth business Trust.

Jenna Ferguson

Jenna Ferguson, Owner, Faith Fitness Gym

“We’re doing free registration for the month of September. It’s a forty-five dollar sign up fee and we’re doing it free right now. The classes include taebo classes, aerobics classes, weight aerobics, step aerobics, dance aerobics, self defense, zumba; so it’s a wide range of different exercises.”

Jude Lopez, Owner, L&J’s Ice Cream Ideals

Jude Lopez

“L&J’s Ice Cream ideals produce ice cream packaged in ideal packets. We have five different flavors; chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, sugar corn and rum and raisin. They come as ideal packets making it more mobile and less messy. Two people came yesterday bought ideals, it fell, pick it up wash it. yoh can’t do dat wid wah cup, yoh can’t do dat wid wah cone but yoh could do dat wid dis. To add to dat, dis dah di best ice cream yoh wah ever taste.”

Dorla Bowman

The Women’s Department also made their expo debut and so did Socio Economic Outreach, which travelled all the way from the Toledo District.

Dorla Bowman, Manager, Socio-Economic Outreach

“Today in our booth we have various items like stuff that have been woven from cloth, from thread and also from the jippy jappa. We have different spices like yellow ginger, ground pepper, spice seed and some other traditional products like the cacao powder. The cacao is grown in the Toledo district, also coffee that is grown in the Toledo District, casham and other products and craft products also.”

Icilda Humes, Director, Women’s Department

Icilda Humes

“We’re introducing Belize’s first line of Gourmet Vinegars and so we have vinegars ranging from pineapple based vinegars infused with basil to star fruit based vinegar infused with lemon grass, with cilantro, with lime, with cinnamon; quite a wide variety of homemade vinegars.  We’re featuring the work of women who have received their cosmetology training. So these are women who have participated in one of the four cycles that we’ve had since 2008 and they’re out here doing manicures and pedicures at a very special price of ten dollars.”

The booths were too many to mention, but shoppers were certainly grateful that among them was an abundance of food and drink to keep them going. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

Grace Kennedy Ltd. won the coveted award for the best booth, followed by Atlantic Bank Ltd while the “Best New Exhibitor” award was won by the Women’s Department.

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No Responses for “EXPO Marketplace 2011; a success especially for phone companies”

  1. Victoria says:

    Jenna Ferguson and Jude Lopez I am soooooo very proud to see you young people doing some good, I know then and I still know now that the youths in Belize can do good and uplift themselves only if they get some help by having some funds available to them, teach them how to manage their business and keep good records.

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