KAMPALA – Last year’s Christmas holiday was a disaster for all those who had made it a habit to spend in malls heavily, due to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 surge, however, being so curious to find out how it goes this year’s season, PML Daily’s KASIMBI NELSON EDWARD made effort to visit different malls to find out how things are.
Big shopping centers are offering discounts to their customers, as a way of comforting them about all hurdles they went through when the SARS virus was at its climax, expensive electronics and utensils, their prices were cut as a way to attract consumers, a trick that worked.
This move was welcomed by business experts who said, although the population has been severely battered by the pandemic, still those who have some little cash will visit shopping centers to get themselves something for Christmas. Analysts said, cutting prices will automatically bond consumers and the supermarkets.
Carrefour shopping center is of a French origin that jetted into the country two years ago, and right now, the supermarket is replacing South African ShopRite, which has just run out of business, leaving Uganda’s business space, this gives Carrefour a chance to be the most visited in areas of Kampala metropolitan.
It is fully packed with goodies, including electronics, novels, and fresh foods, offering more than 10,000 different products, waiting for buyers to take them home, according to the sales department.
However, such shopping firms are eager to exploit the young people, who are just starting to make families, being the largest group that is powering the existence of such ventures, according to the demographic dividend.
For example, Nsubunga James 29-years-old, a resident of Mbuya, I have to buy all I want when the prince is still friendly. “Any person who is wise, he or she should come and buy at this time, for me, I have been able to buy myself a flying pan cheaply” Said Nsubunga, one of the customers.
PML Daily news publication observed that this trend of shopping is mostly in urban centers, like Kampala metropolitan areas than in other regions, being that all major super supermarkets are set up in the business district.
The publication also found out that some people visit such firms with intentions of not buying any goodie, but just for their leisure, they confirmed upon interviewing the group of girls. “We have come to have a look at what the mall is, being it’s new, then next we have money, we shall buy items to buy,” they said in the vox pop.
Nankya Sandra, a researcher on customer consumption said, this Christmas holiday spending, is most likely to go down as same as last year, being the situation has not changed as expected.
She expects consumers to spend only 2.6 percent, which is less than they used to spend in the previous spending, before SARS virus making its way into the country’s business space, which has greatly affected the economy.
“I don’t many people to buy anything for themselves, like last year, being their pockets are heavily damaged by the effects of this pandemic, which including locking them in houses without doing anything that earns them, to me, I anticipate only 2.6 percent of the expenditure,” she says.
On the issues of big supermarkets like ShopRite leaving the business space of Uganda, Namagembe Judith an economist says, an economic disaster still fraught with avoidable mistakes like blockers in the financial institutional, because of this, investors are forced to pull out their finances out of the country. A problem that the Ministry of Finance should eliminate.
ShopRite hyper supermarket is not the only shopping firm that has said bye to its Ugandan customers, with Nakumat Oasis supermarket made its way out before Shoprite, after running bankrupt.