A 'new style' for bargain hunters

Two sisters who run a shop that sells Australian branded products hope that it can become the first stop of choice for shoppers looking for bargains in hard economic times.

Local entrepreneur Alice Nauer Brown and her sister Mine run a shop opposite the SMI building in Apia.

She said they opened the business two years ago and their products, which were imported from the Australian city of Brisbane, are affordable.

Some of their products include vintage ornaments and clothes of all sizes, which are both gender-friendly and suitable for babies to the elderly, as well as furniture, children’s games and blankets.

Customers also have the option of using the shop’s lay-by payment system, especially those who are unable to immediately make full payment. 

“Some things have become expensive and hard to afford,” said Mrs. Brown. “For example, if there’s a dining table with six cushion chairs for $800, you can lay-by $250 to hold down the payment until you can pay in full.

“I do this for the people especially in this time of Covid, not everyone has that big amount of money lying around to pay for everything at once so I give them this opportunity to spend less, while still buying more from me.”

And while the lay-by could work for customers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, who could have lost some form of income, the business owners have acknowledged the direct effects of the coronavirus. 

Their business continues to fluctuate since the pandemic last year and it has been challenging for everyone in the private sector.  

Mrs Brown revealed that prior to the lockdown brought on by the pandemic, their business was generating about 5 per cent more revenue than after the pandemic.

And while their business has attracted many local customers, she described the drop in their profits as appalling, though she is thankful that their setup today enables customers to “meet new people, talk and socialise”. 

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