News | International
24 Jan 2019 2:13
NZCity News
NZCity CalculatorReturn to NZCity

  • Start Page
  • Personalise
  • Days of Xmas
  • Sport
  • Weather
  • Finance
  • Shopping
  • Jobs
  • Horoscopes
  • Lotto Results
  • Photo Gallery
  • Site Gallery
  • TVNow
  • Dating
  • SearchNZ
  • NZSearch
  • RugbyLeague
  • Make Home
  • About NZCity
  • Contact NZCity
  • Your Privacy
  • Advertising
  • Login
  • Join for Free

  •   Home > News > International

    Souvenir seller Roger Sewani profits from his proximity to the President at Trump Tower

    Roger Sewani concedes not everyone likes Donald Trump, but the President's election win has been "absolutely brilliant" for business at his store in Trump Tower, where foreign tourists clamour for Trump-themed souvenirs to take home.

    Roger Sewani moved from Mumbai to New York City 35 years ago to chase the American dream.

    Things seem to have gone well — he now owns 25 newsagent shops and stalls.

    But one in Manhattan is more profitable than all the others, a tiny outlet tucked away near the toilets in the base of Trump Tower.

    In this store, many magazines and newspapers are out.

    And a wide variety of "affordable" Trump-themed souvenirs are in — playing cards, chocolate bars, key rings, hats, dolls and even Christmas baubles.

    "They are so popular; it's most of what we sell now," Mr Sewani said.

    "Donald Trump's election has been absolutely brilliant for business."

    Not all stores are made equal

    The store has a constant stream of customers with foreign accents. It's certainly more popular than the more expensive official Trump campaign stall nearby.

    The shoppers seem to be mostly curious tourists stopping in on their way back from the bathroom, rather than diehard Trump loyalists who have made a special pilgrimage.

    "Not everyone likes Trump," Mr Sewani conceded. But they still might buy a Melania mug or a MAGA [Make America Great Again] hat to take home.

    "Trump Tower is the number one place to buy."

    Indeed, his efforts to sell Trump-themed merchandise in his other New York stores apparently haven't gone down particularly well.

    Customers objected and threatened boycotts when they came in to pick up a paper. A couple of building managers weren't happy either.

    So, his two dozen other shops only stock a more standard range of products — lottery tickets, lollies, I love NY T-shirts, carry bags, miniature yellow cabs and Statue of Liberty key rings.

    Although Mr Sewani claimed the protests were a sign America "isn't really a free country", it doesn't really seem to bother him too much.

    He said he and his family "love Donald Trump very much". They've met him many times, once after a campaign to get a better deal on the Trump Tower rent.

    For what it's worth, the President agreed to reduce it slightly.

    Souvenir seller hopes Trump makes him a diplomat

    Like his political hero, the souvenir seller certainly has a similar penchant for outlandish predictions and larger-than-life self-promotion.

    A profile that appeared in the New York Times is stuck to the shop window and he pointed a customer to it before we spoke.

    He also says the President will win the next election in a "landslide", before daughter Ivanka takes over as the first female commander-in-chief in 2024.

    "Very soon I hope [the Trump administration] will get me a job in the foreign office [state department] in a South Asian country," he said.

    "I want to do anything to help make America great again."

    Despite some of the controversies that have gripped the White House, Mr Sewani says he is "fully loyal" to the President.

    It is, of course, in his interest to say that.

    If Mr Trump remains in power for another six years, the former migrant may have made enough money to retire earlier than planned.

    "People are coming from all over the world looking for Trump stuff," he said.

    "Here we are filling a need."

    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved

     Other International News
     23 Jan: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez moves from bartender to congresswoman and maybe President, one day
     23 Jan: Mother of murdered toddler James Bulger 'disgusted' by Oscar nomination for Detainment, a film about the crime
     23 Jan: Former NSW RSL president Don Rowe charged with fraud
     23 Jan: World Economic Forum accused of fuelling the problems it is trying to solve in Davos
     23 Jan: Can Prince Philip (and other members of the Royal family) be charged with a crime?
     23 Jan: Not even the shutdown can stop Donald Trump's State of the Union address
     23 Jan: Warren Mundine installed as Gilmore candidate at behest of Prime Minister
     Top Stories

    Auckland Tuatara General Manager Ryan Flynn's applauded the culture of his franchise, less than a year after is was established More...

    World Economic Forum accused of fuelling the problems it is trying to solve in Davos More...

     Today's News

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez moves from bartender to congresswoman and maybe President, one day 22:37

    The Black Caps accept they were well beaten in the first one-day cricket international against India in Napier 22:17

    Living & Travel:
    Flights bound for Auckland are circling in the air, after a drone was reportedly spotted near Auckland Airport 21:57

    Mac Miller’s family are “really hopeful” the late rapper will win his first Grammy Award next month 21:49

    Ireland Baldwin thinks her cousin Hailey Bieber and her husband Justin Bieber are "like the same person" 21:19

    Law and Order:
    Mother of murdered toddler James Bulger 'disgusted' by Oscar nomination for Detainment, a film about the crime 21:17

    An earthquake has caused light shaking around Whanganui this evening 21:17

    Law and Order:
    Former NSW RSL president Don Rowe charged with fraud 21:07

    True Thompson has started crawling 20:49

    Nikki Bella finds it "so annoying" when people remind her her "clock is ticking" 20:19

     News Search

    Power Search

    © 2019 New Zealand City Ltd