Sunday, 1 March 2009

Discounts do not do the trick.

Some organisations tend to think that the only thing customers are searching for are discounts and lower prices. When special sales promotion work for some, others blindly follow, unaware of the fact that they could have sustained a regular clientele had they first invested in changing customer opinion regarding their organisation.

Recently, Spar and Jumbo have indulged into massive ad campaigns promoting their new pricing strategy. This campaign might be fruitful in the shortrun but I sincerely doubt that it will have any longterm impact due to the following reasons:

1. Their employees are incompetent, almost rude to customers; I've never once at City Spar been greeted nor smiled at by those girls who're supposed to handle bags and other belongings. They've just got a blank look on their faces and lazily take your bag and then give it back to you. Do you think they've got a special recruitment criteria to employ that kind of person?

It might seem unimportant to greet or smile at people, but for an organisation these immaterial things tend to add a little plus towards customer service. The organisation might spend a lot to attract customers, but at the end of the day it is the employees that come closer to customers and in customers' mind they represent the organisation. I think the way you make customers feel matter a lot. You wouldn't want to go home feeling all annoyed at the rudeness of a bag counter girl.

2. They've advertised massively but they haven't foreseen that they'll be getting an increased number of customers, so they would need to open up most of their cash counters to prevent long queues from forming. Last week at Jumbo Riche Terre I waited for 30 minutes in a queue and I was purchasing only 2 cables. They 'forgot' to open the "quick counters". Pictures below were taken yesterday and you can clearly see some unoccupied check-out counters and long queues.

3. And my last point is that their prices are not even that low. Perhaps in Jumbo and Spar standards they could be qualified as discounted prices. But on the overall some products still remain priced above others found elsewhere.

Anyway consumers should think twice before getting lured by those advertising campaigns.

Just to make it clear, those situations were found in Jumbo Riche Terre and Spar Port-Louis, if the situation is different in other branches, I wouldn't know.


  1. You are right, all supermarkets are always on a "sales campaign" but their prices don't decrease that much. It was the same in Way (BB), Spar (Windsor), Jumbo Phoenix and most Winners around BB/RH. But I did find bargains at Ebene Way and Shoprite last year.

    In the UK, sales mean sales with prices going down 50% or even 80% at times.

  2. Btw the pictures are not that bad for a camphone ... which phone is it?

  3. Yeah I've seen sales in European countries on TV the prices are really discounted especially when there's clothing sales! :P
    About the phone, it a Nokia 7200, been using it for more than 4 years now. :D

  4. morinn! sorry i won't read your post right now. i wanted to ask you about that bitchy lappy, when u said urs went like that as well, u mean u could not get it repaired? :/

  5. Rooch the screen could not be repaired but i used another screen to connect it to the laptop. then i could use it finely. try connecting another screen to the laptop if you got one, li bizin marser.

  6. yes that's what am doing b mo bizin retourn lecran la ce soir after that am all fucked up :/
    to ti al guet ban representant ibm?

  7. wai mo papa ti avoy li reparer 1 cou, li ti corek, lerla aprer ine re gagne prob, lerla finalment zot dir bizin sanz lecran la mem ek li pa vo la peine. alor mone connecter 1 lecran lcd ek li pou mo kav continier servi.

  8. oh you know the rude sales girl attitude is a mauritian speciality. gotta deal with it.
    i tend to prefer sales boys/men. haha
    kifer tone soizir HR ofai? why didn't you go for marketing? you're so good at analysing those stuffs.
    to nepli al super u aster??
    and yes god you're so right about the counters being closed and the super long queues, inefficiency at its best.
    and one last thing, your 'about you' section is supa roxor!

  9. Send a mail with the post link to the customer service of these supermarkets. Faire zot gagne honter imper.

  10. Wow.. Seriousness meets awesomeness. :S

    You said it all... People in shops are rude. Or slow. Or both...

    I think that among all the supermarkets here, only Winners use their checkouts to the max...

  11. Oh talking abt supermarket...jst a share...a bit offtopic from me... there is a supermarket in Vacoas when you buy 2 bread for Rs16 and you giv the cashier Rs101 so and she will return Rs165!


    Not once....but four time it occured this year. So anyone feeling the recession hitting mauritius...please go to this supermarket LOl. (I wont say the name for ethical reasons)

  12. keli, wai, there's a reason kifr bane sales guy pli courtois! hihi
    wai mo ale super u, mais pa ossi souvent aster.
    et mo gagne limpression ena pli cass dan hr ki marketing. i hope am right! hihi

    Irfaan, lol, tantion si mo send sa zot faire moi gagne honter lerla! hihi

    Jev, yup winners is not bad. o moin bane salesgirls la imper souriante.

    Kurt Avish, thanks for sharing this story. hihi :P

  13. mo habite pointe au sable mo bisin alle por lwi pou prend mo banne zafaires acause spar dans mo lendroit trop ser

  14. Yea, the Spar stores are expensive ones and I don't really like shopping there myself because the check out sometimes takes ages. We don't have bag girls, we have to bag our stuff ourselves, and smiling is almost a big no no in our country.
    Ad campaigns indeed generally only have a temporarily effect, yet they are vital for newly opening stores and to create an image for the company. Although if the product doesn't match the ad, people are not going to return.

  15. I think many of these stores haven't got the concept of advertising right.
    Advertising item by item bargains fare much better than advertising discounts in a general way.
    & only Super U & Cash & Carry got these right.

    About Jumbo Riche Terre, even in peak periods I've always found half of the counters closed? Lack of staff???

  16. Niaz, lol, to pa tousel! mo cone encore 1 habitant partie labas mem ki gagne mem prob.

    Manico, yup but even though advertisement is important. I think it should go alongside other services provided.

    Carrotmadman, yeah and that's why Super U and Cash n Carry manage to sell the right products at the right period. About Jumbo RT, I think they've made it too big and now they're underemploying the counters. Guess they must be thinking that employing additional people would not be worthwhile. They could have also arranged for overtime and shifts. Ah well! Guess they just planned the discounts side. :S

  17. How could you miss the Famous Cash and carry... that thing is always on progotion.. pffffffff... pisses me off... how can u be on promotion 90% of the year..

    And the problem @ jumbo riche terre.. i confirm.. so many unsued sozz.. sa zafer la la.. "la caisse"..
    meT pu fer zoli..

  18. I missed out cash and carry because I've got some good deals from their stores. :P
    And I know they advertise a lot, but their customer service is quite good.

  19. LOL, even in Europe people do not go to Spar because it is too expensive. Talking about manners, I think that a local "politeness" campaign should be launched by the government because this is not only a thing that you see in stores but all around the country. Have you ever tried to say "bonzour" to a bus conductor/receiver ?

  20. Yeah the politeness campaign would be a good idea. I remember several years ago there was a campaign on "courtoisie". It worked for some time, the adverts on TV showed people giving way to each other on the streets etc...
    Think it's high time to start something like this again.

  21. a little bit irrelevant but - 1 dun see the point of speaking french in supermarkets. We are in mru. its not like we have left the country even if the place is a foreign franchise.

  22. totally agree with your views on number 1. Maybe there's not enough emphasis on good service.
    Bad customer service makes me reluctant to go to a particular place again.

  23. Yashveer, lol, same goes for wearing your best clothes when going to supermarkets, it's pointless, but I guess it's now part of our culture.

    Aline, yeah, there are not enough emphasis on customer service and i'm amazed how they might have missed that.

  24. thats so true! hate it when those cashiers look at u as if u nobody. They shld learn how to smile or even say bonjour..they so rude

  25. Anonymous, next time please mention your name. ;)

  26. @Yashveer

    I think that its perfectly normal to speak French in those stores. We live in a multi-cultured country.

    Most Mauritians can speak around 3 languages. We should be proud of that and we should show it.