Qmart closed its doors to customers for the last time last night. The supermarket based in the Mall closed operations after the management of the Mall decided not to renew the supermarket’s contract.
The store was full of customers looking for bargains yesterday, as many of the items on the shelves were discounted by up to 40% in a last ditch attempt to clear the store of its remaining stock.
Gulf Times spoke to an official from the store’s management team, who explained that all the items that had been reduced had been brought in by Qmart themselves, but said that items from local distributors would be returned.
He confirmed that the reason for the store closing down was that the Mall had opted not to renew Qmart’s contract after some 13 years of working together.
However he claimed that the store was already searching for a new location in the area, and although it would probably take some six months or so, Qmart will “definitely” be reopening a supermarket some time in the future.
Member of staff seemed to be slightly unsure about their future. Sales assistants in the music and DVD section said they were confident that they would be reopening some time in the near future, whereas other members of staff were less sure.
“It’s very bad and very sad,” said one sales assistant in the main store, who explained that all employees had been told they would receive no-objection releases if they could find alternative employment.A number of customers have expressed their dissatisfaction at the current situation, and many were obviously shocked as they popped in to collect their groceries to find the shop’s shelves almost empty and quite clearly prepared to close down.
Whilst many were happy to take advantage of the discounted goods on offer, their unhappiness at the shop’s closure was also apparent.
“I always use Qmart as it is so close to my home,” said one shopper, “I cannot believe it is closing – where am I supposed to get my last minute shopping now?”
“The store contained a lot of my family’s favourite items,” said one expatriate woman, adding “some of them were only available in Qmart, and now I won’t be able to get them – it’s such a shame”.
The other shops connected to Qmart, such as the pharmacy, chocolate shop and the neighbouring juice store have not been told whether they will have to vacate the premises, but one member of staff at the juice store said he was worried that they would have to vacate the area as well, as it has been highlighted for ‘renovation’.