| Zee Yusri |
AS THE days draw closer to the new year, back-to-school sales are the in thing for parents nationwide that cater to the needs of their children gearing up for the new school term. It is always the end of the year that proves to be a bonanza for bookstores across Brunei as the ‘back-to-school business’ has a huge significance to their bottom line.
Besides purchasing assigned textbooks for their children, parents also hunt for school essentials such as uniforms, school bags, shoes and stationery.
“We aim to be at the top of the market as we receive many positive feedback from the customers saying that our pricing is very reasonable, even compared to the bookstores outside Brunei,” said Barkath Ali, Assistant Manager of Mubarak Book Emporium, while speaking to the Bulletin.
He said the prices they offer are very competitive and are kept at the lowest possible to complement the demands of customers seeking better deals.
“We want to ensure that our clients spend their money properly when it comes to spending for school needs this season, so we worked hard to get reduced prices from our suppliers without compromising on quality,” he stated.
Barkath also said due to the recent changes in the educational system, they are putting in their best efforts to provide relevant reference resources as well as textbooks and workbooks required by Brunei’s education curriculum.
He also added that this year has provided ample time for the customers to drop by the stores for the supplies compared to last year when a sudden throng of customers made it a little bit difficult as stocks were very limited. “But this year, we are sure that with the new stocks and ample timing, disappointments will likely be avoided.”
Another bookshop that saw a steady flow of sales was Bismi Trading. Mohd Tajul Ariffin, one of the supervisors at Bismi Serusop branch, said the responses have been huge since early this week as customers are continuously streaming in to purchase school necessities especially textbooks.
“In addition to being the most profitable season of the year, it is also the busiest for the staff as massive crowds swarm the stores to stockpile on books and school materials for the new academic year,” said Tajul.
He told the Bulletin that sales towards the end of the year have been good and they have had a big inflow of students and parents towards the end of December especially after the bonuses.
Tajul mentioned that with the new stocks coming in, they are adequate to satisfy the influx of customers, and that Bismi would always ensure to restock should there be any shortages of certain books.
“Pleasing the customer is important,” said Tajul. The resupply is meant to fulfil customer needs in a short period as Bismi aimed to be a one-stop location to provide all school supplies and convenience for customers so that they do not have difficulty to search for the hard-to-find items.
Parents are encouraged to avoid the hassle of last-minute shopping and prioritise their children’s school needs as early as possible. Members of the public looking for 2015 calendars, handbooks or diaries could also visit any bookstores as there will be various designs to suit their preference.