From: SHAH FAISAL KHAN <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, May 4, 2013 at 9:01 PM
Subject: [Hyderabad-Rocks] "SR 2 stores are gone forever-SAUDI ARABIA"
SR 2 stores are gone forever
RIYADH: RODOLFO C. ESTIMO JR.
Saturday 4 May 2013
Last Update 4 May 2013 12:41 pm
Gone are the days when expatriates in the Kingdom could go to stores selling items for as little as SR 2, which they would then send home and sell for a profit to pay for food, school fees and housing.
"This is sad but what does one do? Increasing prices, especially for basic commodities, seems to be the order of the day," said Nita Brenna, a housewife.
She and her husband Floro used to visit these shops at night to buy various items that they would send to their children in the Philippines using door-to-door delivery companies. Many of the items were resold for a profit by their children who were still studying back home.
The most popular items bought in bulk were plastic trays, spoons, ceramic jars for display, brooms, plastic flower pots, nail clippers, tweezers and plastic ladles.
"In other words, we used to make money out of the shops where everything was sold for SR 2 each. The profits contributed toward the matriculation fees and daily allowances of our college-going children in those days."
Echoing this sentiment, Cristy St. Ana, who works for an American firm, said: "My husband and I used to visit these stores to buy various goods and commodities which we also sent to our children in the Philippines." They would sell the items for a profit, which was spent on food and their monthly mortgage. To buy cheap goods now, they have to visit Manfouha or Haraj located in the south of Jeddah.
The Yemeni salesman of a shop in the Mursallat area said that SR 2 items have been removed from shop shelves because profits were small. There were stores that sold various items at SR 2 each because they were making money by selling in bulk. Selling items for SR 2 was one way of attracting customers.
"The profit from one item was not much but we were making money by selling as many items as possible," said another Yemeni storekeeper in Moroud area north of the city center.
Another store salesman said: "Instead of items for SR 2 each, we have goods for SR 5 and SR 10 under one roof. We also try to sell at low rates for a small profit. We try to make customers feel that they can buy more for less from us. This is a strategy to attract as many customers as possible."
He said that businessmen are "shrewd" and come up with different marketing tactics to sell and make money. He advised customers to shop around to find cheaper prices. "But gone are the days when you could find everything in one store which cost SR 2 each. Times have changed," he said.