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Sunday September 20, 2009

Open as usual

Hypermarts extend hours to cater for last-minute shoppers during the festive season.

IF you have forgotten to pick up essential ingredients for your Hari Raya cooking this year, don’t fret.

Most hypermarkets are staying open to cater for this last-minute dash. In fact, some have even extended their opening hours to 1am to accommodate late-night shoppers.

Giant, which has 35 hypermarkets throughout the country, will remain open up to 1am daily until Sept 22. The outlets will open at 8am every day and will also offer more markdowns during the Raya holidays.

Marketing director of Giant Malaysia, Ho Mun Hao, said all 35 Giant hypermarkets had extended their operating hours from 8am until 1am since Sept 11, 2009.

“This special business hours are aimed to serve last minute shoppers who wish to get items for the Raya celebrations. And there is no better place to get them than at Giant because we have a very wide range of food and non-food items necessary for this occasion,” he added.

At the Kota Damansara outlet, which is one of the latest, many Raya essentials including various types of traditional cookies and sweetmeats have been placed near the check-out counters.

Last minute shoppers: A family stocking up on instant ketupat.

To help customers save even more this festive season, Giant has made available more than 3,000 house brands that are as much as 30% cheaper than the normal brands, Ho said.

“We would like to advise customers to buy the house brands as their quality is on par with other brands,” he said.

Tesco is also offering not only markdowns but, like Giant, hampers sans wrapping charges.

Though there are ready-to-go hampers, Tesco will accept orders for custom-made ones at prices from RM39 to RM150. Forgoing the usual plastic affair, their hamper goodies this year will be packed in woven cane baskets and wrapped with fabric.

“These hampers are really a departure from the usual celebration hampers that are normally presented in a plastic tray with plastic wrappings,” said Tesco Corporate Affairs director Marlene Kaur.

“Customers still want quality products but they are also looking to spend less than they would have previously, without compromising on quality.”

Tesco also has a good stock of home decor items, mostly matching and coordinated cushion covers, curtains, and other ready-made home furnishings that those who are celebrating may need at the last minute.

At Mydin, the concept is totally different, according to its managing director Datuk Ameer Ali Mydin.

“We will be open until midnight on the eve of Hari Raya and reopen on the first day slightly later at 11am, after the Hari Raya prayers in the morning,” he said.

He added that there were no special festive promotions at Mydin as all items were sold at reasonable prices all year round.

“Our motto is every day low prices and knowing this, our customers are assured of reasonable prices for the items they purchase all year round, not just during the festive season,” he said.

However, only the Kota Baru outlet will be closed on the first day of Hari Raya in accordance with the regulations set by the Kota Baru town council.

Meanwhile, Carrefour hypermarkets will be extending their opening hours to midnight until Sept 21. A check at some of the outlets show that most items that are usually consumed during the Hari Raya festivities are in abundance and prices are equally reasonable.

Other supermarkets, like The Store, Mercato and Jusco, are also stocking up and offering great discounts for the season.

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