A taste of London in Khadda Market

Published: November 3, 2010
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The renowned UK label apparently opened doors in Karachi

It feels like only yesterday that I was thousands of miles away from the heat, commotion and chaos that is part of life in Karachi. I was living in London pursuing graduate studies. During my time in the British capital, I came to discover that there is more to the city than history, sightseeing and its reputation as the party and entertainment capital of the world. It is also a city known for its spectacular high street shopping.

Most of my friends would say shopping is not a man’s thing, but wait till you move to London and see all that the city has to offer. All that is enough to turn even the most resilient of men into a shopaholic. Yes, even men can have shopaholic tendencies, especially if one is living in a city that offers great high street shopping. Even for men’s clothing, London, particularly Oxford Street, has it all.

No trip to the famous Oxford Street of central London is complete without a trip to Marks and Spencer, which is today one of the oldest continuously operating high street retailers in the United Kingdom. From its humble beginnings as a partnership between Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer in 1894, it has gone onto become the most recognisable retail brands internationally, with over 800 stores in over 40 countries. For those loyal to this brand, the opinion is that they give their customers quality worth every penny, and it is that very quality which results in a visit to one of their stores overseas, whether it be in Dubai, Hong Kong and even Kuala Lumpur.

Fans of the brand in Karachi who have been longing for the opportunity to visit one of their stores and purchase quality clothing one need not travel very far. Fairly recently, Marks and Spencer opened its doors in Karachi, with a small clothing retail shop in Khadda Market in DHA, Karachi.

Upon enquiry from the sales staff within, I came to learn that it was a franchise store and it has only been a few days since they opened their doors. It was certainly a treat for the eyes to see one of my favourite retailers with a presence in my hometown. It brought back fond memories of my days in London, as well as provided me the opportunity to experience the quality in men’s clothing I have grown accustomed to. Their prices are marginally higher than what their UK stores have to offer, in the bracket of about 15-20 per cent, but then again, with the exception of the Hong Kong store, Marks and Spencer has been relatively pricier at its international stores than in Great Britain.

The DHA store managed to have a reasonable collection of men’s clothing and accessories in their very modest outlet, from casual and formal dress shirts, to undergarments to silk ties, cuff links and belts. Bad news for the ladies though: this outlet only caters to men’s clothing at the moment. Only time will tell whether they manage to attract the niche segment of the market in Karachi that they have targeted and whether they will expand their offerings to include women and children’s clothing as well. For now, I am just going to hop into my car and drive on to their Khadda Market store and do me some shopping!

deen.sheikh

Deen Sheikh

A Karachi-based human resource and marketing manager who also runs a family-owned business in the consumer goods industry. He is a graduate of King's College London and the University of Sydney.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Saba

    Going to Marks and Spencers isn’t just about buying things. Shopping itself isn’t about buying things. It’s about the whole experience. It’s supposed to be fun. The picture above does not suggest that shopping in Karachi’s Marks and Spencer would be nearly as enjoyable as shopping in London. I’m guessing when you walk in, it’s so cramped that you can’t just leisurely stroll around, looking at things. I’m guessing that you can’t touch anything or take anything out unless someone does it for you as is the norm in Pakistan. And the fact that the prices are higher and bargain hunting is out is the nail in the coffin. Even if they had women’s clothes, I’d pass. It’s just not the same thing. Recommend

  • http://twitter.com/HashimAbbasi Hashim Abbasi

    cool!!! finally an outlet that sells the real stuff rather than cheap knockoffs.
    @Saba: Men look at shopping differently. We dont like to window shop or waste time looking at things we dont need :)Recommend

  • Omar Shahid

    Nice article. Don’t you think they could have chosen a better location for their outlet? Recommend

  • Ali Abbas

    Did they give any proof that it’s a franchise? I wouldn’t be surprised if they lied. A franchise is supposed to be the same in every country…this looking like it’s lacking a few things..Recommend

  • Ali

    well they did have big hoardings put up around Clifton
    announcing they have arrivedRecommend

  • Sadiq

    I am really surprise how could such a reputable newspaper make such a blunder.
    You tell me that whether m&s will open such a tiny store and selling only menswear?where are ladieswear,kidswear,foodhall and technology department.This is a bogus m&s outlet.don’t be fooled by them.Recommend

  • Wasim

    I would suggest people to go more&more and rehans they sell m&s,Zara,river island original branded clothing plus they are much bigger in size and their prices are 50% less then m&s fake outlet.
    They are located at shalimar centre Tariq road Karachi. Near Dolmen centre.
    More&more:02134542593,34546333
    Rehans:0214538449Recommend

  • Rana Asghar

    Probably, this is the smallest M&S in the world! Shopping is a experience not just buying the stuff. This is at least what I feel about shopping. In US in spite of you all the stuff at home but you buy for the heck of shopping & that is called SHOPPING! Recommend

  • Ali ìmran

    Hi guys well to be honest I don’t think they r offical I visited there store it had not even 1/4 of
    the current stock . All I found was out dated suit , shirts some ties but in short very very disappointing.Recommend

  • adnan

    i realy shocked your papper have good reputation . how comes a fraud store become a m&s frenchise, its totally rediculess . this store owner cheat such a big brand name, they all sale very very old or bogus item . we must be report to m&s head office. and your papper must be appologise to promote this fraud storeRecommend

  • owais hanif

    how comes your papper promote a bogus m&s store. this store sale mostly out of date items and they buy from manchester over stock or factory outlet items . they supose to be cheat innocent people who loved to wear such a nice brand.also tyey charged four times of actual pricess i dont think they have any permission to open such a cheap store in cheap place of khadda marketRecommend

  • Saeed Sheikh

    *strong text
    Nice to know that now we can have some good stuff from this store, but question is are they having real stuff or number 2 quality material. Only a visit to shop would be the answer.Recommend