The First Anniversary of Moshims Plaza on Stoddard Road in the Auckland suburb of Mt Roskill held on June 19 was one of the most spectacular events in the City’s social calendar.
More than 10,000 people visited the Complex that contains an array of shops and other facilities but the busiest of them all was Moshims Discount House Supermarket, arguably the largest in the ethnic segment.
While Moshims is renowned for making available quality products at ‘everyday low prices’ in addition to weekly specials, the Anniversary weekend was one of a kind. There were specials after specials, most of them at ridiculously low prices.
As a shopper said, “Such offers come only once a year.”
Indian Newslink and Radio Tarana were present at the Complex to commemorate the event with Managing Director Mohammed Hasim Khan, Operations Manager Afzal Khan and the management and staff of Moshims Discount House. The radio station was continuously broadcasting on-the-spot specials, encouraging hundreds of men and women to rush to the Complex for their weekly shopping.
Afzal Khan said public response was beyond expectations and the unheard of crowd kept counter staff and checkout personnel under pressure throughout the day.
“The queue leading up to the checkout counters were incredibly long and in order to keep people engaged and amused, we decided to announce “Extra Special Offers.” We handed over the products to those who decided to take up the offer so that they did not have to depart from the queue. There was no confusion and with constant music and offers on the air, no one realised the passing of time,” he said.
Rupali (who did not divulge her second name) said she was among the early shoppers at the supermarket and purchased items for the whole month.
“But I heard further specials when I returned home and decided to visit the supermarket again. After all, you do not get to purchase items such as cooking oil at prices that are incomparable. No one can beat Moshims in price and quality,” she said.
Anwar Abdul Rahman, who lives in East Auckland, made three trips to Moshims Plaza on that day, each time obliging friends and neighbours who had heard of the specials.
“I did shopping for my family during the first visit. My sister, who was visiting us asked for a number of items, which was the reason for my second visit. Later, a couple of friends dropped in for tea, and listening to Radio Tarana, requested me to accompany them. During each of these visits, I found hundreds of people picking up items as if there was no tomorrow,” he said.
Afzal Khan said he was not surprised.
“Our phones never stopped ringing on that day. There were calls from people in Hamilton, asking if they could visit the supermarket later in the day. We informed them that we would remain open longer than usual. That is what we are here for – to satisfy our customers. We had ample stock of all items, but they were moving fast,” he said.
There were several easy-to-answer questions posed to shoppers as they waited in the never-ending queue and everyone appeared to be the winner.
On-the-spot specials included Vermicelli for ten cents, a packet of salt for 20 cents, a kilogram of cabbage for 30 cents and so on.
The price of most other items was less than the everyday cost at Moshims.
“Our policy has always been to keep customers happy. Our Managing Director believes in giving back to the community and keeping them satisfied. We understand that most people are hard hit by the ongoing recession,” Afzal Khan said.
A number of customers confirmed that statement.
P Kumar, who lives in Mt Roskill said the variety of items and the way they were displayed was an outstanding feature of the Supermarket.
“I have not compared the prices of items at other places, but I believe that the owners can put up better, bolder and more prominent signboards of the items available. I would also like to see more checkout counters during the busy hours. I believe that the opening of the new Supermarket is one of the best things that happened to Mt Roskill residents,” he said.
Shanti Nair lives in the Eastern suburbs but visits Mt Roskill every weekend to shop at Moshims Discount House.
“I can get every item that I need cheaper. After visiting the supermarket last weekend, I have decided to shop at least twice a week and achieve substantial savings,” she said.
Tawfeeq Islam visits the Islamic Centre on Stoddard Road every Friday and Saturday and hence prefers to do his shopping at Moshims Discount House.
“This new Supermarket is definitely a great improvement but I would like to see products that are of interest and use to people from the Middle East. For instance, there should be better variety of dates since this is an important item for Iftar during the Holy Month of Ramadan. I would also suggest to the owners to have more checkout counters and a better display of products,” he said.