March 12 - 18, 2007 Myanmar's first international weekly © Volume 18, No. 358
 
 
 

Home shopping gains popularity

By Ni Ni Myint
Sein Gahar Super Centre in Yangon is packed with shoppers but many people are choosing to stay at home and use their telephones or computers to shop.

ARE you too busy or not in the mood to go out shopping for some groceries or whatever you need? Take it easy, you only need to make a phone call and all the things you require will arrive on your doorstep in no time.

This kind of shopping is happening right here in Yangon and similar shopping practices have been taking place for many years in more developed countries. Some international companies have even designed refrigerators which will order milk when it runs out.

Those of us who want to read books no longer need to leave our homes. Just jump on your computer, type in foreverspace.com.mm and download the e-books you want to read. Of course, you will need to have a prepaid card to order the books of your choice and these cards can be bought at book shops and internet cafés around Yangon.

Almost 12,000 e-books were downloaded last year, with sales worth K3 million. The best-selling e-book was about health and relationships; it was called “Male and Female Relationship” and was written by Dr Aung Khin Sint.
This website was launched in April 2003 and many people have become interested in it, as online book sales clearly show. More than one million people have visited the website since it was launched.

In 2006 the website recorded 260,000 visitors, mainly from the United States. Most orders were for an array of weekly journals and monthly magazines in electronic format.

As a free service of the website, visitors can read the three daily newspapers: The New Light of Myanmar (both Myanmar and English language) and The Mirror.

If there is no time to go shopping for the household consumables, just make a telephone call or have a look at the website. Some supermarkets in Yangon display all of their available services online.

Blazon Supermarket started its telephone shopping service in 2000.

Customers can order every item that can be bought at their supermarket and all with the simplicity of a phone call. For purchases of K10,000 and above the supermarket will send your items within 24 hours.

And Blazon will happily waive delivery charges for people who live close to the supermarket in the following townships: Latha, Lanmadaw, Pabedan, Kyauktada to name only a few. However, townships on the outskirts of Yangon, like Mingalardon, North Okkalapa and Hlaing Tharyar will have to pay a delivery charge of K2000.

So, pick up the phone and call 538347, 538348, or 4412416 and Blazon’s service officers will be waiting to take your order.

City Mart supermarkets also offer these services. City Mart supermarkets launched its e-shopping facilities four years ago and includes both internet and phone services for customers to access.

The company launched its own online shopping website - www.city.com.mm - and customers can order whatever itesms they want online. But Daw Thet Wah Win, City Mart’s marketing manager, said customers preferred telephone buying because not many people had internet access at home, whereas most people had a telephone.

All items from the store can be ordered online but there is a minimum purchase level of K20,000. And purchases less than K50,000 will incur a delivery fee of K3000.

Online orders can be made anytime but phone orders must be made between 9am and 9pm. For access to this service, the telephone number to call is 723537.

If the order is made before 1pm, deliveries will be between 1:30pm and 6pm on that day.

But if a customer makes an order after 1pm, they will receive their items the next day between 9am and 12pm.

The services are available in Ahlone, Bahan, Botahtaung, Dagon, Dawbon, Hlaing, Hlaing Tharyar, Insein, Kamaryut, Kyauktada, Kyeemyindaing, Lanmadaw, Latha, Mayan-gone, Mingalardon, Mingalar Taung Nyunt, Okkalapa, Pabedan, Pazundaung, Sanchaung, Tarmwe, Thaketa, Thingangyun and Yankin townships.

However, representatives from both Blazon and City Mart said online shopping was likely to become more popular in the future.

U Nyi Nyi Khine, an official from Blazon supermarket’s public relations department, said with the development of the country and changing lifestyles among middle aged people, online shopping would take off in coming years.

City Mart’s Daw Thet Wah Win was less certain and said that the popularity and continued availability of online shopping would depend on whether or not shoppers supported the concept.

 
   
         
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