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Retail boom in full swing

Published Jul 09, 2012 10:47am


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Isn’t it great that we in Pakistan finally have a mall which houses international brands such as Next, Nine West, Splash, Monsoon, Accessorize among other names? The retail boom is in full swing no matter what the economists say. Proof: Mango’s launch which brought out top models, stylists as well as your everyday shoppers.

Though its doors have been open to the public since June, its media launch (managed by Catalyst P.R. aka Frieha Altaf) was just held recently. Okay, so coming back to the basics, I love LOVE loveeeee shopping BUT I am an even bigger lover of a good bargain.  IMAGINE my disappointment when a pair of heels (hideous ones by the way) at Nine West were for Rs.13,000! I had convinced myself that Mango will fair no better. I was pleasantly surprised…to an extent.

The thing is that these brands are RETAIL brands, NOT designer brands, as some may think. The price points cannot be “unaffordable” as they have to appeal to the general public. Right? Where Mango had their summer clothes (which I loved!!!) there was winter wear as well! Hmm, isn’t it still summer and isn’t winter like MONTHS away? Winter in Karachi won’t be until end of November (if we are lucky), so what is the point of having SWEATERS smack in the start of one of the hottest summers we have had? What is that? Yes, that’s a puzzle even I couldn’t figure out! There were cute tops and accessories, bags and shoes, scarves, fun summer maxis and jeans – all the good stuff. What Nine West or Monsoon lack in affordability, Mango makes up for it. Comparatively, Mango is much more affordable than the rest of the retail counterparts which have come to town. Next, though was one of the first retail brands to open its doors in Karachi and Lahore, has the inventory which can easily be classified as, say it with me “ANCIENTT!!!” They should just pack up or change their management. Note to Management of Next, WAKE UP!!

Coming back to Mango, jeans were ranged between Rs.4,000 and under Rs.6,000 – Gold Star for Mango! The summer maxis however, were above 13,000! Five thumbs down! Over all, the accessories were relatively affordable as well as current. Noted fashion designer Sadaf Maletarre said and I quote “It’s great to have Mango in Pakistan.”

Top model Fayezah Asad Ansari said, “It is brilliant that Mango has opened up in Karachi, though for a retail brand I wish the clothes were more affordable.” This concern was also shared by stylist Beenish Pervez. “The clothes are fantastic, that being said they are not as affordable for everyone.”

I have to agree and disagree with my fellow fashionistas. It’s excellent for these brands to open their door here which is perfect for people who cannot travel abroad and shop. They finally have an avenue to have what people who travel abroad have had for years… however, people who travel do know what is in the stores in London, New York, Toronto, Dubai etc. and can quickly asses what is new and what was in stock last season. For them, it is pointless to shop here anyways.

As it is, I have a hard time imagining a housewife wearing a size six mini dress in our lovely nation anyway! That all being said, I am now anxiously awaiting for Debenhams to launch.

Lastly, a shout out to people bringing retail stores and chains here: kindly, check with the standard prices and do not add extra (extra) taxes etc because at the end of the day when the novelty wears off, the only thing which will keep your stores going are your price points and your stock.

James Abidi aka Jamie is an accomplished fashion designer, stylist, event planner, painter and writer.

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (7) Closed

Agha Ata Jul 09, 2012 12:20pm
Who said that if there were no women, we would die of boredom? Well I said it. :) They are such an interesting people. No shopping article can be complete or even readable without mentioning how women do it. The author of this article showed his surprise on why women were buying the stuff months before their season arrived. She said, "Yes, that’s a puzzle even I couldn’t figure out!" Well my dear author, I have. Women's logic is not impossible to understand, even though it is difficult. I thought as a fashion designer if wouold be easier for you to see the logic behind it. They, as you witnessed, were buying sweaters in the middle of summer because ... a) They are cheaper in summer. b) Someone might be going to a cooler city in Pakistan where her relatives or friends live and needed something to present. c) The sweaters were beautiful, and by the time winter arrives they my not be available. So you see my dear Ms.Jamie, women are not so mysterious for men as you thought. But telling you in confidence, there are a lot many things about them I don’t understand myself like buying the same stuff from smaller shops in smaller bazaars at half price.
RaBab Jul 17, 2012 10:30am
I love the article jamie
Jamshed Jul 09, 2012 12:00pm
nice one
James Abidi Jul 09, 2012 01:06pm
I appreciate your point of view Mr Agha. However, there is a phrase which comes to mind " to each their own" As much as I enjoy shopping I love a good bargain even more and to be honest Sweaters in summers (that to in a city where is raining fire right now) is not wallet survey and if anyone is travelling to a colder climateor abroad 1. why wouldn't they just take out their winter clothes from this past winter? 2. Why can't they shop from their? 3. Who would want to give sweaters as a present? Then again, like I mentioned earlier "To Each Their Own". Hope you enjoyed the article :) Cheers Jamie
Faiza Jul 09, 2012 11:47am
This is an article? It sounds like several facebook status updates strung together. I love LOVE loveeeee the liberties people are taking with the label "writer" here.
Alinah Jul 09, 2012 01:19pm
I live in Africa and I'm visiting family here. I loved the new Dolmen Mall in Clifton and Mango plus all these brands coming here. We have these retail brands and more, but they should cater to each regions requirements. I don't think anyone who isn't living in defence area will wear a mini dress or shorts as the author pointed out. I have many Mango dresses in my closet and I adore them. Retail clothes in Africa are much more expensive then here. I wish all the retail companies have a standard price for their stores worldwide. Thank you
Kashif Jul 10, 2012 06:43am
Will these retail stores have mega 70% off sales as they do in UK. I live in UK and never shopped in Mango. Only Nexts and Debenhams for me. They should open more stores. Personally, I would like to see Tesco and an Asda there along with the hardware store B&Q