Managers of shopping centres in Yaounde are cutting prices and decorating their shops to have the flare of the approaching Christmas season.
The Yaounde City Council is lighting up the political capital for celebration of Christmas and New Year and other feasts that come along with them. The twinkling lights being planted on sidewalks, parks and major roundabouts of the city to announce the coming of the festive season are not turned on, not even at night; and are thus, visible only to keen observers. But stepping from the streets of Yaounde into supermarkets is like stepping out of one season of the year into another.
At the Warda branch of Mahima supermarket for instance, customers entering the shop are greeted by two lighted artificial big Christmas trees planted in-between assorted models of toy cars. The Manager of the supermarket, Fateh Guranani says they have prepared a list of products that would be on promotion from December 1 to 31. “We are going to complete our decorations and provide discounts on 100 products including toys, clothes, food and liquors,” he said. As for Casino, one of the oldest supermarkets in Yaounde, promotions are already on-going. Three groups of products have been selected to occupy the pedestal. The exhibition spot at the entrance of the shopping centre on November 13, 2017 was occupied by award winning wines from international wine festivals. “They are sold at discount prices,” says Sakai Hamidou, Deputy Manager of the shop. He told Cameroon Tribune that after the wines, they will display different brands of chocolate with some made in the form of Father Christmas aka Santa Claus. Thereafter they would move the chocolates backward and bring toys to the fore.
Besides changing positions to exhibit these groups of products where everyone can instantaneously see while entering Casino, the enterprise has also envisaged the reduction of prices of cooking oils, spaghetti, mushrooms, chicken and other Cameroonian foodstuff. Like Casino and Mahima many other shops in Yaounde, including Shop System at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Avenue are equally changing positions of goods in their shops and setting up decorations. The Manager of Shop System, Isaac Dzemo, nonetheless complains that it would appear the purchasing power of citizens has dropped compared to last year. “I have been selling children’s bicycles and tri-cycles for about one week now. I have not been able to sell up to three. But I hope things will get better before December 25,” he says.