Christmas shoppers in last-minute rush

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MASERU — The city was swarming with last-minute shoppers yesterday ahead of the festive holiday.
Shop assistants could be seen battling to clear long, winding queues in such chain supermarkets as Shoprite and Pick n Pay, with clothing retailers such as jet, PEP, Dunns, Ackermans and Fashion World also enjoying brisk business.
An assistant at Fashion World along Kingsway Road, who refused to be named, said business was ‘extremely good’, but could not give figures, explaining the manager was away in South Africa.
But despite the eleventh-hour rush, all shops visited by the Lesotho Times crew in the Maseru Central Business District were reasonably stocked, much to the delight of customers.
‘Matumelo Lengoasa, who was at Fashion World, said she did most of her shopping last week and was only out to get “one or two items.”
“Normally around this time, shops run out of stock, so I made it a point to do most of my shopping early,” Lengoasa said.
“Amazingly this year, it’s different; there are still goods in the shops. It just looks like any other month-end.”
Lengoasa attributed the ‘pleasant surprise’ to more shopping options being presented with the opening of the Pioneer Mall last month.
‘Mampepuoa Masupha also confirmed finding almost everything she had been looking to buy, this festive season.  
“Two to three years back, when you went shopping this late towards Christmas, you would find shelves empty,” Masupha said.
“I only managed to do my shopping today but I found nice clothes for my children. You can feel the festive fever in the air, but this is not the usual Christmas madness we normally have in Maseru.”
‘Mako Libaba attributed the “sanity” in town to the global economic recession, which has resulted in the loss of jobs worldwide, with Lesotho not being spared by the downturn. 
“One cannot afford to overspend because in two weeks time, it would be the beginning of the New Year. People would be paying school fees, and uniforms there are a good reminder of what awaits most of us, just around the corner,” Libaba said, pointing at some school uniforms in a nearby shop.

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