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Retail boom in full swing

Published Jul 09, 2012 10:47am

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.