By Blessings Chidakwa
Hundreds of excited customers yesterday besieged Jet Kadoma Stores which re-opened its doors four months after an inferno razed shops in the city.
There was stampede in the early hours of the day as people thronged the shop to buy as well as window shop various clothing items that were on discount.
Authorities battled with the huge crowd and temporarily shut the doors with customers taking turns to enter.
In an interview, Edgars group marketing executive Rumbie Dzimba said the new Kadoma branch, which was officially opened in 2012 before being gutted by fire, has a fresh look and feel.
“Our store showcases a new layout concept reflecting the brand’s identity and making the branch the brand’s ‘store of the future’. Through its intricate design, the store has incorporated unique elements to the visual merchandising with the aim of housing more products and making the customer’s shopping experience more experiential,” she said.
Ms Dzimba said the store attends to between 150 to 200 customers a day with an expected upward trajectory of 250 customers.
She said the new-look Jet’s location was more strategic than the previous one.
“The branch relocated to Sam Levy’s Mall, where there are some key retailers also housed there. The location is strategic as the area has high traffic and this move is set to bring convenience to customers, increase in-store footfall and bolster sales,” she said.
The trendy and vibrant brand features its renowned clothing lines – Massumi, Network Ladies, J-Classics, Network Men, Enzo, Next Generation and Revolution. It also offers allied products including bedding, cosmetics, toiletries, and wide range of accessories.”
Ms Dzimba said Edgars strives to ensure that the customers’ shopping experience is a memorable one, through their custom made financial services products that include lay by, loans and credit accounts.
“In the seven years that Jet has been in Zimbabwe, the brand has managed to extend its footprint to almost every town in Zimbabwe. Jet Stores has 25 stores across Zimbabwe and has plans to expand the branch network to the other towns as it seeks to bring convenience to shoppers.”
Kadoma Mayor Alderman Action Nyamukondiwa said the refurbished store provides a major facelift to the city.
“Jet should be emulated for not abandoning Kadoma after the fire tragedy about four months ago. It has come with a new look and its good for the city as our residents are also getting employment opportunities,” he said.
A Jet account holder, Mr Moses Machaka expressed delight at the shop’s re-opening saying he had been forced to travel to neighbouring cities for shopping.
“Last week I had to travel to Harare at Edgars’ Store First Street branch to do my shopping.
“The transport cost on its own was a huge blow to me and the re-opening is highly commendable,” he said.
Jet Store Kadoma was burnt together with several other shops in a fire which was suspected to have started from a food outlet at the complex.
The incident, however, raised questions over Mashonaland West’s emergency response mechanisms in times of disasters. The Herald