Sunday, April 2, 2023

How the coins you leave at the counter make retailers millions

One Shilling: You know you are on the verge of economic heartbreak when you religiously carry home those one bobs from then supermarket and drop them in your karimo, because you are financially attached to them.

For a million plus times you’ve been frequenting that shopping mall purchasing goods and services for yourself and family,  your hands must have felt a little too upgraded to carry around one bob so many times. “Sasa izi mashilingi nitafanyia nini?” you question your inflated ego. You quickly stuff them in that needy kitty next to the cashier and go in peace.

Let’s do the maths quickly.

In a month at least 4 million Kenyans visit a supermarket. Assume that on average each consumer leaves five one shilling coins in the kitty at the counter next to the cashier every week, and in a month each shopper leaves an average of Sh. 20 coins.  This means that from at least 4 million shoppers, the supermarket collects Sh. 80 million in a month. In a year, the supermarket makes Sh. 0.96 Billion on average in total. This example shows the cash is super clean; free of interest, deductions or taxes.

Kevin Omwenga alleged to have been part of drugs and car theft syndicate

Incorporating factors like corruption, inconsistency and poor bookkeeping habits cause no one cares about mashillingi, a few of the staff manage to stash away a few thousand. In the name of corporate responsibility, the supermarket may give away a few bucks to make a name for themselves out there and build a brand.

In the long run the supermarket wins.  They smarter and pimp most of their products’ prices, with odd numbers such that almost every time you shop, those one bobs just find a way into your hands and you quickly give it away.

Thing is,that one bob counts. With this tough economic times, you better stop undermining the power of one shilling. Haba Haba hujaza kibaba.

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