The West Hills Mall vs China Mall Beef: Why consumers abandoned the former for the latter [Article]

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On Saturday, the Facility Manager of the West Hills Mall and his accomplices were arrested for blocking the entrance of the China Mall with rocks.

That was a measure taken as a result of the competition that exists between the two retail and wholesale conglomerates.

West Hills Mall could not afford to sit aloof as consumers throng the China Mall because most of the items sold in their stores are way cheaper. That was how China Mall decided to stay ahead of the competition.

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Read This: How Manager of West Hills Mall blocked the entrance of China Mall with huge rocks at 2 am

Why should West Hills Mall be fighting China Mall and why do consumers prefer the latter to the former.

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Fredua Agyemang [Tweeting @nfreduagyeman] puts everything you need to know about the business fracas between West Hills Mall and China Mall into proper perspective.

The China Mall-West Hills Mall saga is a fascinating one.

When the mall culture was introduced, it was targeted at high-income earners. The prices were too high. Accra Mall, Marina Mall, A&C Mall, & West Hills Mall. To buy an item from any shop in these malls became a status badge.

It was funny seeing shops closing down after 6 months in operations. There was a bookshop inside Accra Mall. It closed by first converting into a music shop. Ghanaians love to “niche” everything. Meanwhile, the population of high-earners is too small to sustain a market.

I’m addition, it is these same high-end earners who travel abroad often & so are in a position to buy these items on their travels.

Then came China Mall with the same business strategy as Melcom but with more products. They targeted everyone. No pretentious branding.

Every item is cheap. And because people care more about their disposable income, they voted with their feet.

You can’t be selling the same items and be charging 20x the price. What’s the objective? Yes, CM may be undercutting the market or maybe engaging in dumping.

But that alone doesn’t explain the wide disparities in prices. Many have complained about the per square meter shopping floor at these “high end” malls. It’s outrageous. Besides, one can’t even play the patriotic Ghanaian card.

Because the shops in these high-end malls are filled with foreign goods and the ownership is anything but Ghanaian.

Most often Ghanaians are minority shareholders or nonexistent. Besides, when it comes to purchases by middle- & low-income earners, price is king. Not patriotism. No one eats that.

So if the managers of these other Malls (including WHM) wants to compete, they should first cut down that outrageous price they charge for rent. And also change their strategy. The middle-income earners are the second largest group. The mall isn’t a status symbol.

 

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