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Prosperidad en medio de la crisis

Via Trading, ubicada en Lynwood, es una bodega en la cual muchos desempleados se surten de mercancía para revender

La Opinion, 2010

Rodolfo Martínez y Alicia Sánchez llegan tres o cuatro días días a la semana a la inmensa bodega de Via Trading, en Lynwood. Ha sido así desde hace un año y medio, cuando ambos perdieron sus empleos. “Si nos gusta lo que hay lo compramos. Buscamos las cosas que sabemos que se venden más rápido: mercancía general y electrónica”, explica Rodolfo, un carpintero cuyo empleo en la construcción fue borrado por la recesión. Sánchez se ganaba la vida limpiando casas, pero ahora sólo consigue trabajo dos días a la semana. La necesidad los lanzó al comercio. Compran bultos al por mayor y revenden el producto en uno de los tres swap-meets –mercado de pulgas- de La Puente.

Martínez es el tipo de cliente fiel que está a la base del asombroso crecimiento de Vía Trading, una empresa mayorista de Lynwood que navega viento en popa a pesar de la contracción económica. O diríase, en buena parte gracias a ella, al aportar una alternativa de ingresos para los que quieran probarse en las ventas. Sus productos provienen de mercancía de liquidación –overstock–, esa que las grandes cadenas no alcanzan a vender por una u otra razón, la devolución de tienda y la que procede de tiendas que se fueron a la quiebra.”Hace algunos años nuestros clientes tenían un trabajo regular y venían con nosotros para surtir un negocio de fin de semana, hoy algunos de ellos están aquí día a día. Ese es el cambio que hemos visto”, explica Jacques Stambouli, quien inició la compañía en un pequeño local de Westlake de 6,500 pies cuadrados en 2002.

A mediados de 2008, la empresa se trasladó a un local de 240 mil pies cuadrados en Lynwood, pues ya no le bastaban los 65,000 con que operaba en Vernon. Alex Antypas, el jefe de operaciones de la firma, estima que alrededor de mil personas visitan la vasta bodega del negocio cada mes. La mayoría son hispanos, y para atenderlos se abrió un sitio en español: wj20test.com/mayoreo. En su enorme interior los lotes están ordenados por categoría, dispuestos sobre sendos bastidores de carga –pallets. En ellos se descubren las combinaciones más inusuales. En uno se mira un enfriador de agua, juguetes, ropa. En otros, aparatos electrónicos, herramientas, juguetes, productos de belleza, una miscelánea. La empresa no se hace cargo del funcionamiento de los aparatos o enseres que contiene cada lote, y en cierto sentido cada uno resulta una caja de sorpresas y una apuesta.

El lote mínimo cuesta 45 dólares, y de ahí en adelante no hay límite. Recientemente un comprador se llevó 100 mil prendas de vestir.Guadalupe Rodríguez empezó con 300 dólares poco después que éste perdió su empleo como tallador de baños y cocinas de mármol, y lo negociaron en un swap-meet de Cudahy. Poco después regresó con 600. “Pero eso es todo el dinero que tenemos, le dije a mi esposo. Le sacamos el doble”. Hoy está por montar una tienda, y su esposo le dice que ya no volvería al trabajo de tallado. Via Trading está en el 2520 de Industrial Way, Lynwood, CA 90262 y opera de lunes a viernes de 7 am a 7pm, y los sábados de 9 a 5.

Click here to read the article on www.impre.com/laopinion.

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