As Yaounde, Cameroon’s capital city and many other cities in the country are lighted with twinkling lights on major sidewalks and roundabouts, the Christmas season is here with diverse business opportunities. With cities and towns adorned in festive mode, city dwellers are also criss-crossing from one shopping centre to the other to buy assorted items ranging from food stuffs, household equipment, clothing and toys to grace the season.
Conscious of the present surge in demand, supermarket managers have adopted different strategies to outsmart each other and make brisk business during this period. One of the marketing strategies is discount on the prices of different commodities. The special offers some of the managers of supermarkets explained, are intended to retain old clients and attract new ones.
As explained by the Manager of Mahima supermarket at the Warda neighbourhood in Yaounde, the enterprise began promotional sales from December 1 and will run till December 31. “We provide discount on 100 products including toys, clothes, food and liquors,” Fateh Guranani explained.
At Casino supermarket located at the Central Post Office area downtown Yaounde, the management has not only introduced discount prices, but has also opted for a strategic positioning of different items on the pedestal. Three groups of products have been selected to alternatively occupy the shelves. Goods including liquor, toys and clothes are displayed to attract any passer-by. After displaying award-wining wines, it was the turn of different brands of chocolates designed in the form of ‘Father Christmas’ that were displayed. As Christmas Day approached, clothes and all types of toys dominate exhibition stands in the supermarket.
As the Casino Bastos Branch Manager, Raoul Nzuassa told “Cameroon Business Today”, mostly made-in-Cameroon products are on promotion. This, according to him, is not because the goods are not well known, but because they are promoting the consumption of homemade goods. The promotional sales, according to Mr Nzuassa, are intended to attract as many customers as possible as well as dismiss the myth that supermarkets are expensive and a reserve for a certain class of people.
The mouth-watering discounts and other attractive services bring in more customers and thus helps in emptying the existing stock in preparations for new arrivals in January. Even online sales outlets such as Jumia have slashed prices by up to 50 per cent to capture and satisfy many potential customers. In all supermarkets visited, managers admitted that sales are relatively high during this period as customers flood in for last minute shopping.