The joys of

by Ranee Mohamed

There is no time like
December for shopping. No
time as this to offer gifts, buy
one, get one free and 50%
The supermarket giants such as Cargills Food City and Keells not only
play loud music but offer louder bargains this season. Cargills Food City
outlets in Staples Street and Majestic City are manifesting the true spirit of
the season. Prizes and surprises are springing from bills and from
purchases. "Our customers come first be it the festive season or not," said
the Manager, Majestic City Cargills Branch, M.S. Perera.

Perera is walking around as the fruits are being packed into the counters
and cheese, chocolates and cheese bits are being stocked in
unimaginable proportions. Abundance is galore as people are buying as
much as 14 kilos of sugar at a time and white rice and red rice are being
emptied from the huge bags.

There is festivity at Keells too. It began as early as November 28 and will
go on until January 10, 2006. Families are being welcomed to Keells
Super to take part in the ‘Christmas Gift Fantasy.’

Customers are being offered valuable prizes ranging from TVs, washing
machines, refrigerators, mobile telephones, toasters, mixers, rice cookers,
weekend packages from Wild Holidays and much more. The total value of
the prizes is over Rs. 10 million.

Consumer B.S. Perera had the surprise of his life when he won a washing
machine when he walked in to Keells Super Borella to make routine
purchases. "This promotion is unique because every customer who takes
part in the promotion wins a gift," said Brand Manager, Keells Super,
Shevanthi Rajanathan.

There have been lots of prizes being given away including TVs,
refrigerators, washing machines and other consolation prizes.

Customers who buy one product from each of the five coloured categories
simply scratch the card and take home the gift that is revealed. There are
100,000 instant prizes to be won. So everyone is a winner at Keells Super
this Christmas season.

"We intend to spoil customers this Christmas too." said Shevanthi
Rajanathan of Keells. With the Keells Super ‘Ceylinco Diamond Reward’
promotion, every Rs. 1,500 purchase at Keells Super outlets will be
entitled to a Rs. 1,500 reward certificate which can be redeemed at
Ceylinco Gem and Jewellery Centre. Customers can save upto 30% by
making use of this offer.

There are also over 250 products on price discounts and banded offers.
So all who shop at Keells Super can purchase more items from all these
savings. There are also 50 Christmas lunches up for grabs for those who
purchase Keells meats for Rs. 750 or more.

Prizes are offered by supermarkets to keep customers happy. But there is
no way of stopping customers from walking into the reputed super markets
as the countdown to Christmas lunches, dinners and parties begins.

Inviting PHIs to lunch

Inoka of Moratuwa who contacted ‘Consumer Watch’ makes a plea to the
public health inspectors of the city.

"Traders are taking this opportunity that the festive season offers to
fleece consumers. Hasn’t anyone noticed the dirt that is being dished out
in the name of rice and curry these days? There is no taste. Even the
food courts are very careless in their preparation of food because they
know that whatever is on offer will be sold and they can throw cleanliness
and taste to the wind. This is the ideal time for the public health authorities
to be more vigilant about what the weary consumer is being dished out,"
says Inoka.

No colours!

A. Wattalagedera of Colombo 3 asks why he cannot buy the colours that
he likes when it comes to a shirt.

"I recently went to a reputed men’s clothing store to buy a 15 and a half
sized pink shirt with short sleeves. But there was no pink. I was offered
other colours as blue that did not come anywhere close to the colour I was
looking for. I also tried going from store to store to buy cream corduroy
pants or off white or light coloured hip hugging pants. I was offered
denims in blue and black but nothing came close to what I wanted. This
has always been so. Many stores in this country want us to buy a few
colours that are so common and commonly sold everywhere. It is time for
some enterprising entrepreneur to act," says Wattalagedera.