Saturday, August 4, 2007

Al Maha Souk


What's happening with the Souk convenience stores at Al Maha filling stations? They never were my choice of stores to stop at but lately circumstances had me going to a bunch of them, both here in Muscat and on the drive back from Dubai yesterday. The stores are a mess. In some, the shelves are empty. In most the fridges are not stocked with many popular drinks. None of them have Coca Cola products (my wife is a Diet Coke addict). One of them they didn't even have small bottles of water. The staff were unprofessional. They don't wear a uniform or anything that identifies them. Not even a name tag. If it weren't for the fact that they were standing behind the counter you wouldn't even know they work there. Most were dressed in dishdashas without anything covering their heads. In every single store the clerk was talking on his mobile phone the whole time I was there, even while punching my purchases through.

Shopping at a convenience store isn't exactly about having an outstanding time shopping, but what these stores offer is pathetic. It's almost as if they are deliberately being run down.

[link]

9 comments:

Sleepless In Muscat said...

I understand where you're coming in your point of view here, Muscati. But I would have thought that you would know of this situation way before you would post it online.

As far as I can remember, I remember reading about a case again Talal Zawawi's 'SOUQ' from several suppliers that they are not paying their debts on time and since then there has been a quarrel between the two to keep the business rolling on. Actually, come to think of it, I am reminded of it being between the owners of the Al Maha filling stations all around Oman against this group (i.e.: Souq) and how they are burning up because they cannot manage their debts on time.

That is why you see their products range being very limited.

I've asked the guys who work there and they have no clue as to what is happening and therefore this leaves this case open for debate.

Hope I have helped.

Al-Maawali said...

Ok, thats interesting. So, that also answer why they dont wear a uniform and also why they dont know about proper customer treatment.

muscati said...

Thanks. I didn't know about this. It would explain a lot, but Al Maha Souk stores sucked even when they didn't have a problem with suppliers. Do you have a link to the news article or at least a timeline of when it was published. I've been away from work more this year than all of the past 3 years combined and I don't usually read the local papers when I'm on holiday.

Sleepless In Muscat said...

al-mawaali:

As far as I can remember, they never had a unified design of uniform like all the petrol filling stations do like Shell Select and Oman Oil convenience stores.

Muscati:

I don't have an Internet link to it because it was published in the hard copy of Shabiba about a month or so back (way before Gonu, I think).

Anonymous said...

It's all about management here. If you've got a crap manager to 'guide' or 'lead' the way, these people will never learn! I used to say, "God - common sense would make these workers treat a customer how they should be," but they're just lost really without someone to mentor them - to boost the morale.

Ever been to a Quick Trip in the states?!? Now, they're super friendly, have to totally multi-task (we don't have the pleasure of someone pumping gas for us very often and have to do it as well as pay inside unless you swipe your atm/credit card at the pump yourself) and have to control the gas pumps remotely when someone wants to fill up. Here, all they gotta do is scan stuff and smile. They can't even manage that.

My point is...the manager's are at fault. About the stock - dunno about them not paying their bills or not. I'm just tired of being treated like a nuisance as a customer. :sigh:

Twister said...

What about Shell select selling Soft Drinks for 125 Bz? that is equally ridiculous in my opinion...

Al-Maawali said...

Ya, I dont know what the deal is with that. They added 25% in all drinks for some reason. I wonder why??

muscati said...

All the gas station convenience stores sell soft drinks for 125 baisas. It started almost two years ago when the price of diesel went up.

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