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The latest and the newest….

March 24, 2008

The latest superstore in Brunei that has created a bit of a buzz, the Giant Hypermarket as it opened its doors last Saturday. Located in Rimba, the store’s first day was well-covered by the local press. Read the online related report here.

I am glad to hear that the store has created 300 jobs for the locals as a direct spin-off and that local products are also being sold at the store. These products would also be able to penetrate the regional market through Giants’ parent company, the Dairy Farm International.

What I heard from staff working at the store was that serious and curious visitors were already at the store as early as seven in the morning and the 600 free parking lots were already filled up by then. By opening time, cars were seen lining the roadsides leading to the highway and it was believed that there were hundreds of people were around the vicinity of the store.

My sister-in law who was there later in the afternoon thought that she would drop by to check it out and to buy a can of Milo. Finding many aisles, she finally found what she wanted and headed straight to the cashier. Great! There was already a long line of like, thirty people in front of her. She gave up and left the store only to get stuck with the traffic jam.

When my family and I were on our way to the store yesterday afternoon, there were still a lot of cars parking by the roadsides so, not wanting to waste our valuable Sunday, we left. We all agreed we could always ‘pay a visit’ to the store at a much slower time.

We headed to another newly opened restaurant, the three-day old CheezeBox Restaurant and Cafe. Located at the Mall, it was previously occupied by the Dome Restaurant. The restaurant has a pleasant ambience with free internet access terminals; only that there was no connection yet, much to the disappointment of my girls. When we arrived, one or two tables were occupied but as time went by, the place began to fill up and soon it was full house!

Over kebabs and teh tarik, Hubby and I talked on the situation whereby Bruneians would flocked to the latest or newest kid in the block, be it department store, restaurant and even hotel. People would ask you if you have been to the so and so because they already did. And if you haven’t, they would say either, ‘Oh, what a waste of time’ or ‘Don’t bother’ or ‘Awesome!’; ‘Lawwwwwwwaaaaaa!‘ or the young people would say, ‘It’s happening man.’ I don’t buy any as I want to experience it myself and make my own conclusion.

Give the Giants a month or so, my hubby bet, and soon it will become just like the Utama Grand or the Hypermart (and whatever happen to Liang Toon?).  I agreed (don’t want to bet on that).

I am sure the tides of people will cease over time. I think this is the attitude of Bruneians, that idiom in Malay, ‘Hangat-hangat tahi ayam’ or something like, strike the iron while its still hot though of a slightly different use. The Malays would like to experience it while its still fresh and new, whatever ‘it’ is. After some time they would simply ignore it. The Giant would still be ‘hot’ within this month but after awhile, it will cool off.

I think this is a bad character isn’t it? When you start something you finish it, well not in the case of the store but something else, like a project for example. Then there would be another Malay idiom for this, ‘Alang-alang menyeluk pekasam, biar sampai ke hujung lengan’ or, errr….you must finish what you have started.              

2 Comments leave one →
  1. sijoy permalink
    April 1, 2008 11:58 am

    I like your blog. Interesting read. Just like to comment on this entry.

    Its supposed to happen that way. There’s nothing wrong with it. Stores have to compete for customers and that benefits us the public. If any of the stores want custom, they should use their marketing skills and try to attract more ppl to buy their stuff. There is no “Hangat-hangat tahi ayam”, ppl will do what they do. I believe many go to Giant becos they just want to check out the place but there are also those who go to take advantage of real bargains.

  2. Ramble On permalink
    April 4, 2008 12:55 pm

    Thanks sijoy. That’s my point that people either just want to check the place because it’s new or, they are serious shoppers, hunting for bargains. I was watching the Giants store from above when I flew out of Brunei. It look like a square building with cars, lots of these, around it. I think it look like an anthill with ants going in and out. So, (again) the Malay proverb of ‘Di mana ada gula, di situ ada semut’ or where there is sugar, there are bound to be ants, fit it nicely.

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