kathmandu, May 09, 2016:Â The convenience of shopping centres has encouraged more and more Kathmanduites to do their buying at such outlets.
And inspired by the growing number of customers, investors have been opening shopping malls providing one stop shopping across the Valley.
About a decade ago, shopping involved a lot of legwork as customers had to look all over for the things they needed. Shoppers lugging large bags filled with purchases could be seen puffing from one shop to another.
The bazaar streets were lined with small grocery and retail shops which offered only a limited range of items, so shoppers had to visit many places.
But over the past few years, Kathmandu has seen a rapid rise in the number of marts, shopping centres, malls, department stores and super markets.
Big Mart, Stuti Mart, NonStop365, CG Mart and Yeti Group are among the major names in shopping centres.
Since its establishment in 2009, the Big Mart chain has opened outlets in 17 locations and has decided to add one more store within a few days.
â€œOur target is to reach every place in the Valley within 2017 to provide easy access and low-cost shopping to housewives and shoppers,â€ said Antim Ranjit, marketing and branding manager at Big Mart. â€œIn order to provide vegetables at low prices, we have adopted a strategy to cut out the middleman by buying directly from farmers.â€
In a bid to provide an easy shopping experience and keep ahead of its competitors, Big Mart has launched a loyalty scheme under which customers can get purchase vouchers equivalent to 6 percent of their total monthly purchases. Moreover, Big Mart customers can keep track of their purchases and get information on products through its recently launched mobile application.
Kathmanduites are increasingly visiting marts as they can find all their daily essentials at prices similar to neighbourhood groceries and retail shops.
Smaller than super markets and departmental stores, marts have gained business rapidly by providing daily essentials ranging from cold drinks, cosmetic products and packaged food items to green leafy vegetables.
â€œI visit Big Mart frequently to buy vegetables as they are cheaper there than at local vendors,â€ said Sudha Koirala, a shopper at Big Martâ€™s Pepsicola branch.
â€œVisiting local marts saves a lot of time and effort. I donâ€™t have to carry a bag and go searching for household items here and there.â€
NonStop365 mart operated by Rameâ€™s Convenience Store is also on an expansion drive, and has differentiated itself with its delivery service that provides hassle-free service throughout the year, just like its name suggests.
The company has also decided to add online ordering and home delivery services. It maintains five one-stop shops around the Valley, and plans to open another store at Sangam Chowk at New Baneshwor soon.
Likewise, Stuti Mart, a subsidiary of the ANS Co Group, launched three years ago and has opened five outlets at different locations after experiencing a satisfactory growth rate.
â€œWe offer more than 10,000 quality products, and we expect to add more affordable and quality products within a few years to match changes in shopping trends,â€ said Sudip Thapa, chairman of the group.
â€œNepalâ€™s retail shopping is experiencing a change, and more and more people find shopping at our shops more convenient and time saving.â€ According to Thapa, Stuti Mart is currently conducting a feasibility study to pinpoint probable locations for its expansion plan.
Capitalizing on the changing shopping culture, big business houses have also launched marts at various locations around the Capital. The Chaudhary Group opened CG Mart four years ago which has grown to three outlets at Dilli Bazaar, Kalanki and Tripureshwor respectively.
Likewise, the Yeti Airlines Group entered the mart business four years ago and has opened shops at five different places since then.