So, Quality Supermarket Ntinda has folded.
It looks like the purchasing power for the folks that shop from, or stay around Ntinda was overestimated. Or maybe the projections were wrong.
For a business in such a prime location, one would have expected them to stay afloat. After all, a couple of competitor stores remain in business and – seemingly – doing well.
The guys at Tuskys’ seem to have gotten over that rotten chicken scandal and turned their fortunes around – at least going by the shopping traffic. Capital Shoppers does remain solid, too.
Now, since management deemed it wise not to communicate the reason for this move, we shall be left to speculate on what could have gone wrong;
1) Variety and pricing. Each of the other competitors had a better variety of products.
Quality Supermarket had no food section, aside from a small area of the building that featured cakes and – seldom – oily beef Samosas.
Compare this with Tuskys and Capital shoppers that have a wider range of services ranging from food to bits of furniture and other products.
Unless I had a particular item I wanted from Quality, it was always going to be difficult for me to make Quality Supermarket my first port of call.
2) Business hours. For the few times I tried accessing the place past 9PM, the staff were always in retirement mood.
It wasn’t uncommon to find those mean-looking security guards manning a wet entrance with puddles of filthy water.
If you went to Quality Supermarket wearing some thin-soled footwear, you were almost certain to earn yourself a free muddy footbath.
Cleaning for the next day would have commenced already.
3) Parking. Despite the seemingly ample parking at the complex that housed the supermarket, it wasn’t always easy to find parking.
This could also probably be due to the different businesses in the area. The guys who occupied most of the parking were probably doing different business, for the tills almost always had no queues.
4) Probably the landlord saw it fit to increase rent, and the guys couldn’t cope. This is another theory that has been thrown around. We can only speculate.
Any positive points?
It certainly wasn’t always gloom at Quality. Some items were fairly priced. They also had a knack of having that one item that would have eluded you elsewhere in the neighborhood.
They had some decent cake, and their in-house bakery had that 1Kg bread that always felt 1.5 times heavier than the 1Kg inscribed on the sachet.
Oh, and the customer service wasn’t exactly as awful as that at any of those Mega Standard Supermarket branches.