Supermarkets are among the most significant retail outlets in shopping malls, but the importance of smaller units in many parts of city suburbs cannot be over-emphasised or overlooked.
In fact, with everything within reach and with convenient opening hours, these mini supermarkets are increasingly becoming the shopping destination of people of varied ethnicity.
Moshims Discount House outlets in Pakuranga (East Auckland) and Manurewa (South Auckland) are no exception. Residents in both areas find these two mini supermarkets, located respectively at 9 Cardiff Road and 59 Churchill Avenue, extensive in their range of products.
Both stores retail Indian, Middle Eastern and Pakistani bulk foods and spices. Halal meat, chicken, Fiji fish, vegetables, fruits, Indian sweets and snacks are among the specialities.
There are times when the checkout counters of both retail shops are busier than their mainstream counterparts and there are occasions when it would be difficult to find a place to park your car at either of these places.
But there would be no cause for you to complain that the item that you needed to take home was not available. Ajit and Jessica Singh and Arvin and Anjali Shankar, who manage respectively the Pakuranga and Manurewa outlets know when the stock of a product would run out and before long take steps to replenish it. They do not need the service of a computer for inventory control. Their minds are ever alert.
And on that once-in-a-blue-moon occasion when an item of your preference is off the shelf, you will receive a smile, with an apology and guarantee that it would be available the following day. Just how they manage is another story.
Customer satisfaction may be a challenge but the couples at the two stores constantly achieve what is often elusive or impossible.
“Retailing is like any other service business. We must understand the needs of the customers and fulfil them, provided they are in our range. The market is tough but people must spend on milk, bread and other essentials. We help them to shop for all their domestic needs with low prices,” Ajit and Arvin said.
“Be it rice, wheat, flour, spices, fruits and vegetables or snacks, everything is available at Moshims Discount House. We do not have to walk long from my house, and within the retail store, everything is within reach,” their respective customers said.
An increasing number of Indians, Pacific Islanders, Maoris, Asians and people of European ethnicity are finding the two supermarkets the best for their daily or weekly requirements. Except for those shopping for wine or beer, everything could be purchased at either of the two Moshims Discount House stores. These would range from chapattis, rotis and other bread (both fresh and frozen), several types of rice, wheat, flour, pickles and other items to suit one’s budget, soft drinks and juices, readymade and ready-to-cook packet meals, confectionery, skincare, oral care and other products and toiletry items.
While people from India and the Sub-Continent are assured of the brands that appease them, customers of all ethnicities can be assured of their daily milk, bread and dairy products, which are fresh and perhaps cheaper than other places.
Those keen on entertainment can hire DVDs of popular Hindi films, apart from purchasing choice TV serials and music on CDs.
Operating a retail store that is open for almost 100 hours a week, managing staff shifts and ensuring that stocks are constantly replenished are all arduous challenges but for Arvin and Anjali and Ajit and Jessica, these are the best parts of their lives.
“There is a certain pleasure is seeing our customers, many of who are our good friends, at least once a week when they do their shopping. They tell us of their experience with the products they buy, which in turn helps us to improve. Finally, our reward is in their smile, knowing that they have been well served.”