School shopping frenzy

2010-01-13 00:00

FRANTIC parents, with tired looking and frustrated children not far behind, is usually the picture that dots the city each year in a last minute shopping rush, just a day before schools open.

For many local stores, this year was no different as yesterday proved to be their busiest day yet in this new year.

“I don’t know if I’m on my head or on my feet,” is how one floor manager at the Hub store in town summed it all up.

“I don’t know why people leave things for the eleventh hour. It’s been a non-stop mad rush on this floor. But I must say even in the rush, people this year have been favourable. There have been no irritations and outbreaks. But we’ve had to double up on Bioplus to keep going,” she said humorously.

Store manager, Kally Nagesan, said people have been buying since Christmas and have been buying consistently throughout the week. However, yesterday things did appear to pick up even more.

“We have been very busy and thankfully we were well stocked-up; we took our cue from last year.”

Basic greys, white shirts and socks were the more popular items selling quickly, according to Nagesan, who added they did not witness any real drama, other than the usual feud amongst parents and children arguing over colours and what bags to buy.

Asmalls Clothing Store manager in Church Street, Irshad Beni, said while schoolwear in general has been selling well, bags have been in demand, especially the ranges with cartoons like Barbie and Ben 10.

Cilla Botha, the store manager at CNA at Liberty Midlands Mall, said their recent 99c special on the Staedtler brand sold like hot cakes and has helped boost their sales.

“We have been nice and busy but for us the rush has been consistent for the past two weeks. We’ve sold everything from exam books, to book covers, dictionaries and atlases.”

However, the last minute rush was not limited to just shopping. Some schools reported that by yesterday, they were still getting parents wanting admission for their children.

“It’s amazing. It happens every year. You’ll get parents coming in for the first time and it’s a day before schools reopen. And when you ask them where they have been all along, you find out that it’s not even people who are new in the area,” said Bisley Primary principal, Brian Killeen.

Killeen said his grade 1 class is already oversubscribed, but they are still sitting with a long waiting list of parents.

“It’s a real problem because Pietermaritzburg is growing. We have had between 90 to 100 more students than we had in the last four to five years as, because we are a community school, we can’t expect people to transport their children to other areas.”

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