Growing up all we had in terms of a supermarket was Uchumi. We used to shop at Uchumi Ngong road, not the hyper but the one at Adams. The hyper supermarkets had not yet come. Every Saturday we would head there to do our shopping before going to visit my grandparents who live in Nairobi and have a shamba. So every Saturday I had two things to look forward to, going shopping and going to my cucu’s shamba where we had a garden and kept some chicken. Occasionally my mother would be touched by an angel and buy us biscuits. It is amazing how our parents used to be anti -sugary stuff so we would hope that my mum would decide to treat us and get us some biscuits or sweets. Or even better that she would buy cake mix and we would bake a cake at home. The vanilla and strawberry mix was my favourite. In those days one didn’t buy cakes, one made cake at home and so after we had put the cake mixture into the oven, my mum would give us the bowl. We would lick the bowl clean. I miss that, the making of cakes. The supermarket at the time was basic and shopping was a quick thing.
Then came Yaya Center and with it a new shopping experience. It was the first mall to have an escalator, and as children we used to love to go there and ride the escalator. It became a shopping experience to go there and shop. There was everything you would need in this mall, though in different places. There were book stores (my favourite), a bakery, a supermarket, shops for toys and clothes shops. It was a great shopping experience.
20 years or so later the supermarket experience is now on another level. Now you can find everything you want in a supermarket. There are electronics, books, food (both uncooked and cooked), and so many other things. But malls have also evolved. You can actually take out your family out for a fun family experience. You can go shopping while your children are playing under watchful supervision. Shopping malls usually have an amusement side for children where they can play, have fun and make new friends.
Nowadays retailers are trying to keep you in the supermarket for as long as possible so that you can spend money there. And there is a lot of competition between the supermarkets trying to entice you to go there. Because nowadays there is no loyalty to a supermarket, it’s all about convenience and what the supermarket can offer you. We are all looking for the best deals and we want to get more for less. The cost of living has gone up and let’s faces it a thousand shillings cannot buy what it used to. You can only get so much for a thousand bob.
I believe that kind of competition is good, good for the consumers. Because when the supermarkets are fighting it out we get deals and bargains. Like the ones at Tuskys Ruai right now. They are having a massive sale with many items going for some fantastic sale prices. Like the gas burner which is usually 3000 bob but is being sold at 1500. Definitely a bargain. Get one for yourself. Or buy one for that friend who is moving out as a housewarming gift.
I found out that Tuskys Ruai has an interesting offer. That you can buy meat, and have it roasted right there. Take your family out for shopping there and as you shop you can buy some meat, take it to be roasted while you do your shopping. You can even leave Baba Watoto there making sure that the meat is cooked to your specifications. Then you can decide where you want to eat. There is a place where you can seat and eat or you can take it home. My only question is when is Tuskys coming to Ngong Road or so that we can get some of that?
Potentash Founder. A creative writer. The Managing Editor at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories and stories about the inclusion of minorities. Find me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We're all stories, in the end.” ― Steven Moffat