Farid’s supermarket is thinking big, and it’s thinking green

Published: July 30, 2013
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Farid’s supermarket at Ocean Mall is all set for its grand launch on August 1 at 9pm. The store offers everything from candles, to cigars, manicures and even a live deli. The owner plans to launch two more branches by next year. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

Farid’s supermarket at Ocean Mall is all set for its grand launch on August 1 at 9pm. The store offers everything from candles, to cigars, manicures and even a live deli. The owner plans to launch two more branches by next year. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

KARACHI: For the man behind the city’s newest superstore, Farid’s, it was important that his new venture remains Pakistani.

“We are inherently Pakistan,” claimed Farid’s chief operating officer Adnan Hamid. “Even our logo is green and white.” Hamid is quick to explain that his patriotism is the main reason why he did not hire a foreign franchise for services offered in the supermarket-cum-lifestyle store. This latest addition to Ocean Mall in Clifton will open its doors to the public on August 1 at 9pm.

For several months, the residents of Karachi were excited about “a new Agha’s” opening at the mall. Farid’s is, however, an entirely novel concept to Pakistan bearing absolutely no links to Agha’s Supermarket, Hamid clarifies. It embodies the much-spoken-about-but-never-attempted ‘all solutions under one roof’ concept. Here you can buy everything from high-end cigars in their own cigar room to candles.

Farid’s supermarket at Ocean Mall is all set for its grand launch on August 1 at 9pm. The store offers everything from candles, to cigars, manicures and even a live deli. The owner plans to launch two more branches by next year. PHOTO: ATHAR KHAN/EXPRESS

“Where Hyperstar has eight salad dressings, we have 30,” said Hamid. “See? Something for everybody.”

This lifestyle store draws its inspiration from global attractions, such as Bloomingdales, Selfridges and Marks & Spencer. It cleverly employs the average Pakistani’s love for food with an attraction that is certain to draw a crowd; a live deli. Here, you can make own sandwiches – meats, sauces and cheese, and enjoy it while you shop.

“We have wholesome, fresh and healthy food – with indulgences of course,” says the owner of Deli @ Farid’s, who has experience in running her own restaurant. “We also have salads, sun-dried tomato, pesto sauce, grilled red and yellow peppers but really amazing wholesome sandwiches. My personal favourite is the curried chicken sandwich.”

From a live deli to a mini Liberty bookstore inside the massive store, Sayeeda Mandviwala from Tony and Guy has also set up a manicure counter. What’s more is that Nabila from N-Pro has a space in the massive makeup section of the store and will be giving free makeovers and skincare advice.

Keeping it local

Pakistan has immense talent, pointed out Hamid, adding that local entrepreneurs are just as, if not more, capable than foreign ones. The aim at Farid’s is to promote Pakistan, he claimed. The store is providing employment to over 300 people. The staff here will have complete medical coverage and access to medicines from Farid’s own pharmacy counters, promised Hamid.

Farid Virani, the managing director of Farid’s, has over 35 years of retail experience in Pakistan, given his association with Agha’s Supermarket. This store at Ocean Mall is the first step towards much bigger plans. In January next year, Farid’s is planning to open another branch in DHA Phase VIII and a third one in Hyderabad in 2015.

Their goals become more and more ambitious as the store plans on representing Pakistan outside its borders. “Farid’s aims to give a Pakistani lifestyle store representation on a global level,” said Farid Virani. “And we are strongly positioned to do so.”

There hasn’t been a single Pakistani superstore that has been entertained abroad and Farid’s mission is to showcase Pakistani services on a global scale.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (14)

  • A. Khan
    Jul 30, 2013 - 4:49AM

    Good luck on this venture. Its good hear that Pakistan is finally getting some decent places to shop.

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  • Middle Class People
    Jul 30, 2013 - 5:23AM

    Hm, this is great, but it seems to me like it will be overpriced. Good for people who have a lot of extra cash, perhaps, but Hyperstar caters to a different crowd of people and it will continue to attract people from all over the city. Most retail items are 10% + off. This place seems nice to window-shop in, but in my opinion, people would be stupid to buy things (other than fancy candles and cigars, which are not available at Hyperstar) from this place unless it offers competitive prices.The Deli sounds like a good idea but the sandwiches will probably be overpriced in which case I’d rather eat the chicken tikka sandwich at Hyperstar for Rs. 29. Have fun at your new hangout spot, rich people! There will be more space for me to shop at Hyperstar.

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  • freud
    Jul 30, 2013 - 8:11AM

    Farid’s pharmacy in Dolmen Mall is the only pharmacy in the world which sells cigarettes.

    Cigarette packs are proudly displayed and sold right next to medicines.

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  • Jul 30, 2013 - 4:37PM

    Congratulations Farid’s! It’s important to highlight and be proud of our Pakistani lifestyle. The brand ‘Pakistani’ will Inshallah acquire a new meaning of service courtesy, hygeine, and integrity. In these days, It’s heartening to know that your staff has full medical coverage. Salams

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  • Kimlee
    Jul 30, 2013 - 5:45PM

    Good luck to Farid’s if it can offer us a safe and healthy shopping experience.

    @middle class people. hyperstar has already become decidedly down market in terms of the type of people who shop there; and in terms of the quality of items they stock. A trip to their produce section will demonstrate this through for example mouldy cauliflower. I myself have come home and discovered chocolate which has been older than expiry would suggest, atta with bugs in it and dry fruits with critters within the packaging.

    Hyperstar started out very well but has now lost its quality and clientele edge; maybe these things go hand in hand. I hope this Farid’s fares better after the initial hype.

    I, howeve, don’t get all this nonsense of Farid’s representing Pakistan at a global level. They are essentially taking a bunch of foreign ideas/products and portraying that as some unique stroke of brilliance.

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  • lol
    Jul 30, 2013 - 7:57PM

    The joke is on us, Farid owns aghas, hyperstar and farid’s

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  • Sardar Zaheer
    Jul 30, 2013 - 11:14PM

    I have seen Farid’s work from very close abt 10 years back when he was celebrating his 50th and Agha’s 25th Anniversary…I am sure he with his strong networking skills and understanding about Pakistan productions and elites mindset to purchasing such products he would be able to make it a big multinational store chain of Paistani Origin…Wish You Best of Luck!

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  • Ali S
    Jul 31, 2013 - 1:43AM

    @freud:

    Of course, they said that they’re proudly promoting Pakistani values :p

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  • Mj
    Jul 31, 2013 - 9:18AM

    Im a bit skeptical about Farid’s claiming to promote Pakistan. Considering ist target market and product offering, it will do very little to promote Pakistani brands in its store. In fact it will probably make international brands more accessible which could have a negative impact on our own products. As pakistanis we should opt for local products whenever we are presented with a choice.

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  • Jul 31, 2013 - 1:21PM

    Great addition to the burgeoning middle-class and upper middle-class of Karachi… Lets ALL enjoy this and feel happy that things are happening and we don’t need to jump across to Dubai at all times! Go Farid’s Go Karachi!!!

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  • moderatist
    Jul 31, 2013 - 5:40PM

    @Mj
    talk to me the day you opt for a Q-mobile while having the money to buy an I-Phone.

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  • Rizwan
    Aug 2, 2013 - 5:29PM

    Farid’s may be a great place to shop, but all this stuff about being ‘Pakistani’ just sounds silly because essentially it’s just a wannabe Marks and Spencer and a borrowed concept (including the deli, so M&S). The difference is while M&S stock strictly their own products, this store will stock brands from around the world. I’d like to go to this place, but don’t give me the ‘Pakistan promotion’ crap (unless they’ve decided to serve Butt ki karahi in the deli).

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  • MK
    Aug 5, 2013 - 12:41PM

    @ Middle Class People:
    With that thinking I’m not surprised. Go ahead, be proud and blow your trumpet about being mediocre and loving it.

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  • kam
    Aug 12, 2013 - 4:53AM

    didnt see any prices labels on the shelves..talking about going global and presenting it right..ahh nevermind..;)

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