by Kilimanjaro Review September 24, 2012
Two Rates | Locals and Foreigners!
For employees living in Moshi and spending Tanzanian shillings, we would not anticipate any significant complaints with the service offered by this shop. They have a good range, a few things on special offer, the shop is clean, has good parking, and - while at least one of the staff (a cashier) has a bad attitude and is rude and obfuscatory to clients - there is certainly a handful of well-trained and courteous staff on hand that seem genuinely concerned about the shop's performance and customer satisfaction.
In the case of tourism business owners - who often receive their funds in US Dollars - and where foreign tourists are concerned, it is very difficult to recommend this shop as, while other grocery shops will usually offer a rate of USD 1 = TZS 1,570, this shop has what they call a 'flat rate' of USD 1 = TZS 1,500, which amounts to a 5% surcharge penalty on the demographic who are most likely to mass purchase.
This surcharge appears especially ironic when one considers that there is at least one large grocery shop in Arusha that will actually offer a 5% discount when pre-paying in US Dollars, making Nakumatt 10% more expensive for certain business owners.
When asked about their rationale for this 5% surcharge, managers have been trained to tell clients that this is a better rate than some of the bureaux des changes offer to porters who receive tips in US Dollars and want to exchange them. The fact that Nakumatt has a Tanzanian bank account with an institution that offers them a rate close to 1,570 seems to have no significance to staff here.
Nakumatt is just 6 months old, or thereabouts, and we hope that they will soon learn how better to satisfy business owners and tourists. For the meantime, however, only small value transactions are recommended.