The new look in front of big shops are points of attraction to passersby and curious parents.
The trend that prevails in the premises of big shops and supermarkets this December is different from how it used to be one month back. The verandas of the shops are coloured with children and women’s needs. In front of Mahima supermarket in Akwa, children’s toys’, ranging from dolls to vehicles, divert passersby’s attention that walk into the shop even without money but just to admire and then carry out enquiries. In the supermarkets, toys made with the images of prominent cartoon characters like Barbie and film actress like Angelina Jolie, in Maleficent, attracts both children and parents.
Though the toys range between FCFA 4,500 and FCFA 39,000, a parent who brought in her child denied buying a Barbie toy for her kid saying ‘who will carry the other’, since the toy is taller than the kid. Toy vehicles too ranging from FCFA 175,000 to FCFA 225,000 were also displayed for parents who cared to ask and those that can afford.
Bags of rice, cartons of detergent and gallons of cooking oil that use to scramble for space with customers in front of big shops have disappeared. The verandas of such shops are partly occupied by drinks ranging from water to hot drinks. Most shops now give out the drinks on promotional sales. For example a bottle of Baileys that use to sell at FCFA 9,000 now sells at FCFA 7,950 while the prices of other whiskies like black and red labels have dropped.
Notwithstanding the tonnes of Christmas goods stocked in such shops, many a Douala city dweller prefer to shop from hawkers at the roadside because they are cheaper. The same toy sold for FCFA 4,500 in big shops, sells at between FCFA 3,000 and FCFA 3,500 at the roadside. Women’s corners, where handbags, makeup kits, dresses and jewelleries are exhibited, are potential angles for pickpockets who take advantage of overcrowding.
Away from dresses, drinks and toys, that are mostly exposed during this season, electronic shops are equally on the Christmas page. New designs of flat giant screen televisions, modern Bluetooth and luxurious phones are also on display in such shops.