A year after opening, Al Furjan souqs witness increased footfall
There is a steady increase in the number of customers at shops in Al Furjan souqs, or neighbourhood markets, as many residents are now finding these outlets convenient and easily accessible shopping options.
This comes as good news for the shop operators, who had complained of low turnout of customers after the markets started operating about a year ago.
Buoyed by the growing footfall, the shop owners now have a bright outlook for their business and are confident that their investment will fetch due returns.
At the same time, many inhabitants of areas around Qatar where Al Furjan markets are located acknowledge they are lucky that such facilities – where they can find items of everyday use as well as basic services – are available near their homes.
Al Furjan markets can be found in places such as Al Qutaifiya, Rawdat al-Hamama, Rawdat Aqdim, Al Thumama, Al Mearad, Umm Al Seneem, Hazm Al Markhiya, Al Aab and Jarayan Nujaimah.
“We offer special services to our customers, such as delivery of goods, irrespective of the amount free of charge. We also provide the option of delayed payment, whereby they can pay on a monthly or weekly basis. Besides, we are keen to maintain good, friendly relations with our customers,” said a shopkeeper at the Al Furjan market in Al Thumama.
He said delivering goods to nearby houses does not involve high costs because this is usually done on bicycle.
Families living in Al Thumama and some other areas also stressed that shops at the nearby Al Furjan markets provided them with much-needed services, helping them save time and effort. This is also why they are okay with the slightly higher prices charged for some services at these markets, compared to major shopping complexes.
“I do not mind paying a few riyals more when I get good service without having to drive a long distance and wait in a queue to pay,” said a resident of Ain Khalid.
Shops at Al Furjan market include those selling clothes and accessories, meat and fish, and vegetable and fruits, as well as beauty salons, barbershops, groceries, small eateries/cafeterias and laundries. Some of the markets also have construction material shops and tailors.
Operators across all categories of shops say footfall is steadily rising as customers have got used to them and find their services good and convenient. In addition, all Al Furjan souqs are well-planned establishments with adequate number of parking lots and safe entry and exit points. There are also seats in common areas of the shopping complexes were customers can relax and sit for a while when needed.