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Posted On: 9 August 2009 09:31 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Stores gearing up for Ramadan shoppers

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With the holy month of Ramadan just about two weeks away, Qatar’s residents are heading out in force to the many supermarkets to stock up on food supplies for the following weeks. And the supermarkets have been doing their part to encourage their customers to spend by offering a large variety of promotions and sales. The Family Food Centre outlets are currently offering a promotion which entitles customers to a raffle ticket for every QR50 that they spend in store. These tickets will be entered into a draw for three Lexus ES350 2009 models which will take place on October 11. The offer has been running since July 12 and so covers a longer period than the holy month, but the shop is busy at the current time with customers preparing for Ramadan, explained a member of staff. He claimed that the pre-prepared baskets of traditional Arabic sweets and pastries are growing in popularity at the moment, and these would continue to sell well until the beginning of Eid. Carrefour is beginning their ‘Ramadan Kareem’ promotion today, during which they will be giving away some 8,000 gift vouchers until the end of the holy month. A store representative explained that food items were the most popular commodities at the moment. However, toys and gift items are also included in the sale, and the representative claimed that these items would gain in popularity throughout the month, especially towards the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Eid. And another offer that has been introduced to coincide with the Ramadan promotion is the “Back 2 School: Back to friends” sale which covers a large selection of stationery and other school items in advance of the start of the academic year after Ramadan. Giant Stores in Hyatt Plaza is currently offering sales and cash prizes in the mall’s “Summer Chillout” celebration which is set to continue until August 15. A customer sales representative at the store explained that although no plans have been confirmed as of yet, there are almost certainly going to be other promotions during Ramadan. At the moment the shop is already offering extensive sales and promotions on a number of items, with large reductions on cooking and furniture supplies which are extremely popular as people prepare for Ramadan celebrations. A shop representative explained that some of the most sought after items are the Arabic pastries and sweets which are freshly prepared in the store’s bakery. “We are offering a lot of different sweets in time for Ramadan,” he said, adding “these are very popular and we are expecting more people to come for these in the next few weeks.” An Arabic expatriate couple who were shopping for supplies in Giant Stores said that they were preparing for Ramadan by getting their hands on a number of bargains before the holy month celebrations. “With money a bit tighter than usual, it’s great to have so many items available at discounted prices,” they said, adding “we are buying lots of cooking equipment and food supplies in preparation for Ramadan as we will be hosting people for Iftar celebrations.” Megamart in the Centre is offering a promotion and cash giveaway which includes two Mitsubishi Nativa as prizes. For every QR50 spent instore, the customer will have a chance of winning one of the four-wheel drive cars and will also have the opportunity of being the lucky winner of some QR50,000 worth of cash prizes. Other supermarkets are offering various promotions for the current time, including the smaller stores as well as the larger, more popular locations. For instance, LuLu Hypermarket, which is a popular shopping destination for nationals and expatriates alike all year round, is traditionally particularly busy during the weeks leading up to Ramadan and during the holy month itself. And the supermarket is offering a wide selection of reductions – especially on food items – to make this time of the year less financially challenging during the current global economic crisis. As well as the supermarkets, Souq Waqif is also proving to be a popular destination for shoppers, as many are frequenting the stalls which have been set up outside by local women selling a variety of products. As well as traditional food, there are also arts and crafts on sale which are popular choices for gifts, as well as practical supplies for the larger gatherings that many families hold during Ramadan, such as garden furniture and other similar items. And although the number of shoppers in the country’s supermarkets seems to be improving each evening, most shop officials claimed that there will be much more business to come in the coming weeks. “Things have not been too busy until now,” said one shop representative, adding “but we expect that from this week on, the rush for food ahead of Ramadan will be much more noticeable.”