By:Hedgerow Assets Management Nepal

17 Oct 2019

Harsh Reality for consumers in Nepal

If you’ve been to Nepal or to Kathmandu even, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say the retail shops and the clothing store in Kathmandu are like mushrooms growing in a jungle, everywhere. You can especially find a low scale food Centre after each footstep which is strange because how much can you eat anyway. Kathmandu is a beautiful city with temples and looks like a walking museum with authentic food and also traditional clothing. Glowing with history although these food stores and clothing stores have emerged recently as if it were fashion or a lazy excuse and I think it’s time they stop trying so hard and quit already. Some stores are growing however some are having notorious downfalls. The names of these stores always seem to make me laugh because they are just hilarious.


I live in a simple and pretty cozy neighborhood which I like very much here in Kathmandu as it’s dust and pollution-free, although I could undoubtedly say that as I walk down a minute away from my house, I pass a small shop of groceries and right after 5 seconds there is another one, little bigger with the same products but also selling vegetables. Right past that, is another store of the same things and then another and another. You won’t believe me when I say there is a store which is connected side by side to each other, I guess they establish this kind of stores for friends and family only. Now I have talked to a few people in my neighborhood and they seem to all be housewives and in need of something to pass the time while their husbands are working and their children go to school. It’s as if they have friends and enemies in the neighborhood. I once talked to a woman who seriously suggested me not to talk or go to a shop that sells groceries because they are in bad terms and she is not a good person. Now what I didn’t understand was what it has got to do with me buying the groceries or vegetables I need. If she’s bad she will still sell me vegetables and if she’s good, I’m still there for my vegetables. JUST GIVE ME MY VEGETABLES *SIGHS*


They say it’s a man eat mankind of world these days and to me honestly, it seems true and though slightly different as well. I genuinely feel it’s a leg pull leg kind of situation here. For instance, a new mart has been set up in the neighborhood, now the neighbor is jealous and thinks of doing the exact same thing but bigger, and when I tell you to exact it means exactly but just with a little more of the same products. I guess they think ‘ALRIGHT IM GOING TO PUT THE EXACT SAME THINGS BUT A LITTLE MORE OF IT ON DISPLAY SO PEOPLE KNOW MINE IS BETTER” it is almost like a little girl’s lemonade stand for 30 cents. I am up for a place to live with a variety of products and services down the alley, but with the same things everywhere is a little imbalanced.


Only as if that was the problem, the one thing that kills me the most is the price. The price of a product isn’t what I am talking about but the variation of price in each shop is what bugs me. Each and every shop or clothing store has the same product yet they seem to have the difference in price and I will never understand the mystery behind this whole situation but I intend to find out one day. It’s as if they charge you whatever they feel like and act as if they don’t care or don’t know. It is a known fact that all the product when distributed to the shops and markets have an exact same price but somehow this gets muddled up and the shop owner decides to sell it in a little more money, they think it can’t be noticed but what about all the packets which says the exact MRP (market retail price) of the product. “Oh dear, you almost got me fooled”. It’s understandable as to how they sell their vegetables like (Amsterdam nectarines might cost about 20$ a kg while the local one might have lesser than 10$ margins) it is understandable about the import and all the hard-work and sufficiency for it, but cheating on a packed food is almost a nightmare when you are living in a budget.


 A few years ago the police, auditors and the higher authority seized some of the brands like Nike and ADIDAS in King’s way (Kathmandu) after investigating and realizing that they were framing the market by acting as one of the authorized retailers of the brands when in reality they were bringing low copies of the brand from China, Thailand, Vietnam and such. They operated for about 6 years and made tons of profit. When in fact even the owning company doesn’t know that they were being duplicated here.


The clothing store is not branded nor authentic. People usually have their own store in which they operate bringing cheap clothing from other Asian countries or a wholesale market in the city. Each and every store has the same clothes and all the same products however the price varies from shop to shop which is extremely hard for costumers like me to follow. They also have the darkest names for their shops as if they had no time to even think about it twice, names like Lipsy, New pinch, Spencer, daisy are some of the names of the stores which also happen to have the same clothes.


What I’d say I’m dealing here with is a lack of knowledge, ideas about the product and the market at the same time. The government doesn’t seem to be having any sort of problems to just register the shops and stores as well. It is rather sore in the eye to see many shops at the same time, together. It does look miserable and like I said, how much can a person eat anyway, but other than that I really love it here.