A week on, back-to-school sales in full swing

 25 Sep 2016 - 20:42

A week on, back-to-school sales in full swing
Parents busy with Children's for Back to School shopping. Pic: Abdul Basit

By Irfan Bukhari and Amna Pervaiz Rao / The Peninsula

DOHA: Health-friendly school bags are among the attractions of the back-to-school sales this year that is still in full swing, a week after opening of the schools.
The customers have expressed mixed views about the prices with some dubbing them ‘high’ and others seeing no hike as compared to last year. The Peninsula yesterday observed a reasonable rush at book shops as well as school supply sections of hypermarkets.
“The stuff like bags and other stationery items available here are of good quality but I see a significant increase in their prices this year as well,” said Kamal Bhandari, an expat from Nepal.
“Those who bought the school items a month before opening of schools enjoyed lesser prices,” he added while talking to The Peninsula at Jarir Bookstore.
An employee of the bookstore, on the other hand, claimed that the prices of school supplies had not soared a lot. “There is a slight increase in prices as compared to last year. We are also facing troubles as imports are delayed and the demand is high,” he said requesting not to be named. 
Most school-related items like the bags, pencil cases, lunch bags, back-packs, lunch boxes and sport bottles bear made-in-china label while products from India and Indonesia are also in the market. 
Rashmi Dant, marketing manager at Center Point, Barwa Village in Al Wakrah said: “The sale was quite fair this year. It was at its peak before Eid and after Eid it witnessed a downward trend.” 
He added that some new brands and products had been launched this year terming them ‘first-class’.
Dant said that the company had also introduced health-friendly school bags which were designed to avoid any harmful effects on the shoulders and backbones of children. 
The prices of the products at some high-end shops were relatively high as compared to other outlets. For instance, a back pack sells at QR139, lunch bag at QR64, lunch box and sport bottle carried a price tag of QR29 each, while a pencil case was being sold at QR39. Different varieties are available at varying prices.
Haidee, a Filipina said that the prices were less in some hypermarkets. “Here prices are low and quality is good. I buy school supplies from here to send the items to my kids back in Philippines,” Haidee said, as The Peninsula met her in a leading hypermarket in the Airport area.
Another customer, Saeed Rehman had complained not about the prices but about quality. “I have found that the school bags are cheap here but the quality is not reliable unfortunately,” he added. At the hypermarket , a school trolley bag sells at QR109, school back pack at QR99 while lunch bag is being sold for QR36 and pencil case for QR20.
Muhammad Hassan, a visitor from Saudi Arabia, who was shopping at Ansar Gallery in City Center said: “I have come from Saudi Arabia with my family. I have found the promotional offers on school items very attractive and useful. Therefore I am buying these products.”