Saturday, April 09, 2005

Shopping in duty free Mauritius

Its now official since the start of this week Mauritius is going to be a duty-free island. Everyone is excited and i personnally beleive that its going to be great to have products at a lower pricing than before ,on top of that it would be really interesting if we could have the same growth curve as Dubai , although we still lack the infrastructure in terms of big shopping malls etc..

So today i decided to have a closer look at how the prices had changed in shops around Port-Louis. First I went to Galaxee , there were many people inside although today is public holiday in Mauritius (...By the way happy Ugadi festival!). The main attraction was the TV sets , prices have dropped down a bit you could get a nice 29inch flat screen starting from rs12000 + VAT. I also had a look at gym equipments there but didn't notice any price drops.Prices on mobiles had dropped by about rs500 on almost all makes.

Then i went to Victoria Bus Station and jumped into Courts' showroom , there too a lot of people were looking and comparing the prices , i paid more attention to furniture items there for some reason , then i was told that there was no duty in the first place on these articles. Still i did notice some nice bedroom furniture , i might return there soon :) . But as far as electronic equipments are concerned i think Courts has yet to show the new pricings as everything is really still expensive , plus they dont have really big TV sets to display , the 29inch and 34 inches. I saw a DVD+Hifi at around rs20,000 + VAT , still expensive !!!

My last stop was at Cash&Carry Computer Gallery as usual it was packed full. Whats funny with the place is that there are just about as many clients as salespersons. And given that its a small shop , you kind of get pushed around which is annoying. On top of that you always have a sales guy in you back , which is something i really dont like. So i would definitively give a big zero as to customer relationship is concerned.On the other side the shop does have big tv-sets at reasonable prizes what caught my attention was a JVC 29inch flat screen TV set which was at rs17,000. Lots of mobiles too were on sale with considerable price reduction ,e.g the Samsung E800 which is being sold at rs16000 . But in the computers department , there is absolutely no change the price of an Intel Centrino 1.5 Ghz , 512 MB , 60G HD laptop is still around rs43,000. Anyways there were more people in the home electronics section than in the computer section.

I will definitively have a look around tommorrow (if i can) or latter next week to see how the prices evolve and will take some photo shots (added to TODO list).

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