News on Sunday

Summer season : blooming businesses 

Time for vacation, outdoor activities, sunbathing and more, the summer season in Mauritius is also the time for the blooming of business. As the temperatures are high, all are looking out for the best ways to cope with the hot and sticky atmosphere. Some particular appliances and products know a real success during this time. 

As the summer season prevails, our bodies have to acclimatise to the humid and warm weather. But to be able to survive the hot temperatures and enjoy the sunny days in the most comfortable way possible, one needs to be equipped properly. This is when businesses come into the picture by proposing appliances and products that will enable us to get through the hot summer days. 

The best selling home appliances during summer season, without a doubt, are fans. Available in all shapes, sizes and looks, electric fans provide relief and cool people down. At the Warehouse Ltd, trading as 361, the sales of fans have doubled since a few weeks. “As the temperatures have risen since the end of October, we have seen an increase in our sales of fans. We are offering three models, namely mural, stand and table fans. The bestseller is the stand fan. We are also offering promotional prices during the summer,” explained Thierry Seevraz, spokesperson at 361. 

cooling with fan

What do people look for when buying a fan? “They want a fan that will create more air flow. The more blades the fan has, the more air flow it will provide. This is also the case if the blades are large,” he stated. He added that new types of fans are a huge success, too, namely the noiseless ones. “People do not want to be disturbed, especially at night. Many are thus looking for the noiseless fans. Remote controlled fans are likewise becoming famous,” uttered Thierry Seevraz, who underlined that fan prices start as from Rs 790 for desk fans and up to Rs 3,690 for stand fans. 

According to Iqbal Peeraye, Managing Director at Ideal Shopping Centre, people have rushed to the shops to buy their fans due to the rise in temperatures. “We always have a large stock of fans and sell them all year long. However, these past weeks, we have had to triple our order and stock. For example, instead of 500, we have to order around 1,000. We are selling around 50 to 75 fans on a daily basis compared to 20 to 25 fans a day during months like July and August,” he explained. He underlined that some clients even buy two fans or even more at one go while others will make their purchases according to their budget. Prices for fans at Ideal Shopping Centre start as from Rs 490 for a box fan up to Rs1,500 for a stand fan. The prices of some fans can go up to Rs 4,000 depending on the model and sizes such as mural fans, among others. 

Tawfiq Nusrally, Director at Cellking Ltd, which has recently launched its new appliances showroom, on his side, stated that fans are a hit among Mauritian families during the summer season. “We have recently extended our shop and we have noticed that our best selling appliance during this period is the fan. There are people who are buying up to three fans. When you use a fan 24/7 non-stop, the engine will definitely break down at some point. So, people have to buy new fans. This is also one of the reasons why the sales of fans go up,” he explained. Regarding prices, he uttered that they start from Rs 850 up to Rs 1,300 for a stand fan, all again depending on the category and options.  

Ice cream

Ice cream market thrives

The hot and humid weather also calls for a refreshing ice cream to quench our dry throats and pump our bodies. Ice cream is in fact one of the bestselling food products during summer season. Whether on the streets, in shops or in malls, long lines of people queue up at the ice cream stand to satisfy their taste buds but also to cool themselves down.

Zishan Ramtoolah, owner and Director of Zorbetteria Artigianale, explained that there is a real growth in the ice cream market, especially during summer.  He stated that his stock of artisanal ice cream and sorbets gets sold out within hours since the thermometer has gone up. “As we noticed that our ice cream was gone very quickly, we decided to make more in order to catch up with the demand. However, this was also not sufficient, as clients continued to queue up to have their ice creams.”

He added that days like Monday are usually quiet but since the beginning of summer, clients come all week long. Zishan said that he also has to work until late during summer days. “As long as we have the stocks and clients keep coming, we do not close the shop. We open at 8:00 pm and work up to midnight. This work is definitely demanding but it is a market which has lots of potential.”

The latter shared that he favours the use of fresh seasonal summer fruits to make his sorbets. “People also want the cooling and satisfying taste of fresh local fruits. This season is thus ideal to make great sorbets with fruits such as litchi, watermelon, pineapple and others. We make ice cream and sell them on the same day. It is best as the flavours are fully there.”

Josee Bardin, Director of ‘Sorbet Top’o’ (also known as Loulou Pops) makes a variety of popsicles. She explained that orders from clients have tripled. “We have, since not long, started to take orders from three re-sellers. Our orders have, since the beginning of summer, tripled. However, I must say that this year, even during winter time, our popsicles have known much success.”

Instead of 50 to 75 popsicles a day, Josee Bardin is selling around 100 popsicles per day. “During weekends, the demand is even higher. We can sell up to 200 popsicles daily. This definitely requires longer hours of work both at production and sales level. We can work up to 9.30 pm some days,” she uttered.

Sameer Unuth, owner and Director of Ice Point Factory Co Ltd, on his side, stated that the sales of popsicles and oriental ice cream sticks have risen. “During winter months like July, we sell around 20 popsicles per day. However, during summer time, our turnover goes up with the sales of around 100 popsicles and ice cream sticks per day. The bestselling items are syrup popsicles and ‘piksidou’. This is because it is mostly ice and provides an instant cooling feeling to people. It is also very affordable. The syrup popsicles are at Rs 15 while the ‘piksidou’ is sold at Rs 5 only.”
Sameer Unuth also explained that Mauritians are big fans of the oriental ice cream stick, namely the ‘Kulfi Malai’. “This ice cream is eaten mostly like a dessert. During summer nights and after a heavy dinner, people want to eat a light but also sweet and refreshing dessert. This is why our oriental ice creams is a huge success during summer. We also get lots of individual orders for events such as weddings and others.”


Health products a must

Extending from November to April, summer is also a season where health precautions must not be disregarded. In order to gear up to face the summer health issues, some products are a must. As a pharmacist explained, there are elements in the air, as well as hot temperatures and humidity that intensify the proliferation of bacteria and viruses. “Common health issues are diarrhea and vomiting. People must be very careful when consuming seasonal fruits. A good wash of the product and of your hands is required,” he said.

He advised that in order to fight these inconveniences, it is important to boost the immune system prior to the beginning of the season. “People have to consume products such as Propolis and Echinacea. These capsules, which come in boxes of ten, cost around Rs 300.” He added that many people also suffer from dehydration during summer. “Products which will help them to rehydrate their body are the Oral Rehydrating Salt (ORS). This is the best treatment after ultra-biotic when one is suffering from dehydration. A box which can last for 15 days costs around Rs 200 to Rs 300. An individual sachet is sold at Rs 30.” The ORS, he underlined, are best sold during summer time.

Moreover, he added that the sales of summer lotions and sunscreens also go up during summer, especially during weekends, so as to avoid being sunburnt. “Families go camping and at the seaside during weekends. Many are conscious that they have to protect their skin so as not to suffer from sun burns and other health issues. The sales of sunscreens thus go up. Starting price is at Rs 350 and can go up to Rs 900.”

Another product that knows a boost in its sales, especially during summer, is the mosquito repellent. “This is also another bestselling product, as we have lots of mosquitoes due to rainfall. Repellent creams and essences are sold as from Rs 100 up to Rs 300. People are conscious that they have to protect themselves against diseases such as the Dengue Fever and the Chikungunya.”

AIr conditioner

Sales of ACs shoot up

For better comfort during summer days and nights, many people opt for the air conditioning system. The air conditioner in fact helps to cool the surrounding air in a room, as it removes heat and moisture from the interior. With the rise in temperatures and the humidity, the sales of air conditioners have also known a boom on the business market. 

“We have pumped up our stock of air conditioners in order to meet with the rising demands. We are also offering free installation to our clients,” stated Thierry Seevraz, spokesperson at 361. Prices for air conditioners start as from Rs 12,990 and more depending on the btu and options. Promotional summer deals are also offered at the Ideal Shopping Centre. “In line with the celebration of our shop anniversary, we are offering free installation of air conditioners to our clients,” uttered Iqbal Peeraye, who highlighted that people are opting more to buy air conditioners than air coolers. 

“Air conditioners can cool a room within minutes and does not require ice or cool water in it to function. With the press of a button, one can already feel relief from the heat.” Prices start as from Rs 9,900 to Rs 29,000. Iqbal Peeraye added that there is also the Mobile AC, which can be moved and placed in different rooms. “The Mobile AC is remote controlled and starts at the price of Rs 11,900,” he said. 

Prakash Aubeeluck, Director at Island Cell Ltd, who is a dealer in air conditioners, on his side, explained that the demand for AC has escalated on the market. “The warm weather is making people feel very uncomfortable. We have a variety of choices that meet with any budget. Instead of selling two or three ACs per month, we are now selling up to seven ACs per day. In addition, the hours of work of our technicians have doubled, as we have to meet up with the huge demand.”

He added that people are choosing to buy ACs which have the Inverter option. “It may cost a little more than normal ACs but they are economical. The Inverter option helps to consume less electricity and thus cut the bill by half during the peak summer days,” he explained.  He added that free site visits and advices are offered prior to the installation and that promotional offers are also on. “It is not a secret that clients are attracted when they benefit from a discount,” he uttered. 

Tawfiq Nusrally, Director at Cellking Ltd, stated, on his side, that there is great competition on the market regarding the sales of ACs during summer time. “It is a big market. We have noted that people are picky and take lots of information before buying. They want the best product. Customers also look at the trademark and at the warranty offered. Prices start as from Rs 9,900 to Rs 30,000 depending on the options and btu.” He added that some clients still prefer to stick with the normal ACs rather than opting for those with the Inverter option. 

The latter underlined that the sales of air coolers have also gone up. “We have sold most of our air coolers and there is only one remaining. The advantage is that it is not so expensive and you can move it in different rooms in your house. We will thus have to renew our stock soon in order to meet with the increasing demand,” he said. 

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