By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK SHOP until you drop! This is the spirit with which many Namibians have flocked the supermarkets to make good use of the discount bargains and special prices of products on the shelves. As of late trolley upon trolley of groceries could be seen being pushed out of the big chain stores like Shoprite, Game and Agra in the capital, where thousands of shoppers saw the need to stock up for the festive season. By the look of things Namibians have really geared themselves up in being well prepared for the special moments like Christmas Day and the New Year celebrations. "It is better to shop now and have enough food for the entire festive season, because January is a dry month and you have to be prepared," said one regular shopper of Game, walking out with a trolley full of goodies. It seems the early bird is much better off than the late one, so just like another customer who said she hates the last minute rush of some big retail shops closing on Christmas and New Year's Day, "so buy early and have peace of mind later". Sentiments have been that to avoid the big adrenalin rush, one needs to be one step ahead in shopping for your groceries. Ever since Game Stores started advertising its festive season specials, people have been streaming in for promotions and discounts. Every week the store dishes out a load of these goodies to the public and according to Merchandise Manager Justice Katjivi these promotions will run up until the 24th of December. "People are already coming in to buy in bulk for the 50 percent stock promotion sales," said Katjivi, adding that the store has also put in place special festive season incentives for people to come and buy some more at Game. Competitions like that of having the chance to win a N$5 000 gift voucher on any Bosch product is just one such flavour and so far up to ten people have been lucky to win such a prize. "A Game Gift Voucher is the ideal present for any event or just for the pure joy of giving a gift," reads one of their pamphlets. As much as there's talk that everybody should be in a merry mood this festive season, much is not on the cards for the vulnerable citizens. However, quite remarkably Game Stores has for the past 9 years been offering 10 percent off every Wednesday for senior citizens over the age of 60 who purchase up to N$750. "The elderly apply for a special discount card through filling in a form at the store. If you are 60 years of age or more, whether you are working or not, all you need to do is take the completed form and ID Card and a passport size photograph to the customer services counter," explained manager Katjivi, adding that this incentive serves as an extra savings for senior citizens. Since Christmas is a time of giving and sharing, all the N$5 gift-wrappings go into the petty cashbox of the Children's Centre. The festive season is best known for people to travel back to their villages, and for the local farmers buying the right gear like pesticides, a meat saw and a handy small axe is of vital importance. That is why big chain stores like Agra cater for these needs and others through its affordable discount prices this festive season. "This is the right season for buying farming products like a generator, saddle as well as gardening and camping materials," said Agra's Group Buyer Graeme Schaefer. At all its 17 branches countrywide Agra has opened its specials up until the 24th of December this year, while a whole new stock will be advertised soon after that period has passed. Schaefer said that they have been experiencing good sales as many customers have been coming through the store. Besides farming equipment, Agra also offers grocery items, wholesale, gardening and camping gear. While an axe costs N$138, 95, Chlorpirifos (ant pesticides) costs N$99,49 and a standard generator amounts to N$4995,50. Basic foodstuffs at the farm store like Bokomo sifted maize-meal (10 kg) only costs N$24,95, 1-kilogram sugar N$118 and a torch and radio combination set N$52,95. Ever since Shoprite Stores opened its 9th branch in Lafrenz Industrial area near Katutura last month, the retailer also had their fair share of customers, since people have the easy option of shopping closer to their residences, rather than travelling all the way to town and end up paying N$12 return taxi fare. Its General Manager of Technical Services Selwyn Schiff was optimistic that the numbers of customers are picking up fast due to their discount festive season specials. "This is the shop of the masses and the promotion prices will stay on for a couple of weeks," concluded Schiff with a smile. So all it boils down to is for the public to go out there with a proper shopping list and buy the goodies they need for this festive season. Happy shopping!
New Era Reporter
2005-12-12 00:00:00 13 years ago