News | International
19 Jan 2019 23:29
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
  • Crime.co.nz
  • 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
     19 Jan: Potential Banksy work in Tokyo scrutinised by officials after going unnoticed for at least a decade
     19 Jan: Border Patrol arrest more than 350 people trying to tunnel into the United States
     19 Jan: Irish woman 'denied' abortion at Dublin hospital despite new legislation
     19 Jan: Drones swoop in to deliver life-saving vaccines to remote Vanuatu villages
     19 Jan: Growing up as a living goddess
     19 Jan: Sutopo Purwo Nugroho spent his working life helping save people from natural disasters – now he's dying
     19 Jan: 'Rescuing' the story of Ada Lovelace from the shadow of her father, Lord Byron
     Top Stories

    RUGBY RUGBY
    All Blacks sevens coach Clark Laidlaw's still learning to adapt his rugby brain to a scaled down environment More...


    BUSINESS BUSINESS
    First scooters, now hire-by-the minute compact cars More...



     Today's News

    Living & Travel:
    No Powerball winners in tonight's Lotto draw - and once again no Division One winners either! 21:57

    Entertainment:
    Idina Menzel felt like a "bad mom" after the tooth fairy failed to visit her son 21:45

    Technology:
    Some flights at Auckland Airport are delayed tonight because of a computer problem 21:17

    Entertainment:
    Lady Penny Lancaster Stewart has revealed that her young son Aidan is very romantic and has already proposed once to a girl at his school who he was "in love" with 21:15

    Entertainment:
    Victoria Beckham uses an anti-ageing face cream made from her own blood 20:45

    Entertainment:
    Rose McGowan hid the fact she dated women as she feared she wouldn't be accepted in Hollywood 20:15

    Entertainment:
    Aretha Franklin was honoured at a star-studded tribute concert 19:45

    Living & Travel:
    Some 16,000 people have been enjoying a perfect summer's day in Queenstown at the Gibbston Valley Winery Summer Concert - with only a little rain to keep them cool and refreshed 19:17

    Entertainment:
    Spencer Matthews has a "soft spot" for Piers Morgan 19:15

    Law and Order:
    A man's in critical condition in Auckland Hospital after coming off a scooter in Epsom 19:07


     News Search






    Power Search


    © 2019 New Zealand City Ltd