Monday, March 19, 2012

Miri still a shopping paradise for Bruneians

MIRI: The resort city of Miri is a shopper’s paradise, as far as Bruneians are concerned whose weekend begins on Thursday, despite recent figures showing a decline.

According to many Mirians, the favourite shopping malls frequented by the visitors are the Bintang Plaza and Boulevard Shopping Mall although they have now shifted their focus to E-mart shopping arcade and the new Permy Mall in Senadin which is much nearer to the Brunei/Sarawak border.

A manager from Hotel Resort, Walter Stanley, told The Borneo Post Adventure Team (BAT) that Bruneians are still the biggest weekend spenders as they visit Miri not only to do their weekly shopping but also to have a great time, especially during long school holidays.

“They also go for entertainments and other recreational activities available in the city. Definitely they take advantage of the good exchange rate of their currency which is very much in their favour to obtain whatever goods and services they need. This is good for the local economy and helps many business entities in the city,” he said.

“Their presence also drives some local food and beverage outlets to mark up their prices but Mirians have got used to this and they find alternative shopping areas where prices for goods and services are pretty much affordable,” he added.

Stanley described Miri as a nice city, with most of its multiracial residents and business people working very hard.

“Those who work in the private sector, especially in the oil and gas industry whether they are expatriates or locals have good income.

“The influx of people from Brunei plus the locals and expatriates who are also high income earners had also helped trigger the higher cost of living in the city. Prices of goods and services have also increased in relation with what these people are earning,” added Stanley.

On the other hand, a staff of an international brand, Maza Qayra, said compared to previous years fewer Bruneians now patronise their shop.

“We did our own market and sales survey and we recorded a 30 per cent drop in the number of Bruneian shoppers coming to buy our products especially during the weekend. We know they are from Brunei from the membership cards they show when buying the products,” she added.

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