Online Eid shopping gaining popularity

LAHORE – The increasing popularity of online shopping ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr among Pakistanis has upset the traders of local markets.

With the advent of technology and internet people are exposed to a wide range of things, which are easily accessible as the whole world is just a click away.

The changing trend of shopping among the consumers is replacing the traditional way of shopping and slowing down the sales of giant shopping malls and local markets, including Saddar Bazaar, Ichhra Bazaar, Pace shopping centre, Model Town Bank Square Market and Liberty Market.

According to a survey conducted by The Nation on Wednesday in bazaars and markets, shopkeepers are selling all the stuff at comparatively higher prices as compared to last year.

On Facebook, different brands are offering Eid-ul-Fitr discounts from 20 percent to 40 percent to lure the potential customers who are always looking for these kinds of deals.

Daraz.pk is offering 20 percent discount on shoes, 40 percent discount on stylish jewellery and 70 percent on kids fashion and toys. The website strives to make sure that the best collections of designer clothing and fashion shoes are brought onto people’s computer screen.

Online Eid shopping gaining popularity

The famous brands Kayseria, Khaadi, Sana Safinaz, Gul Ahmed and Amir Adnan have started selling their new collections like hot cakes on the internet. To establish e-commerce industry banks and telecommunication brands are offering amazing discounts on online Shopping Day for Eid and Ramazan. Thus online shopping has become an increasingly popular and much liked trend, which has gained a lot of momentum. If it continues to facilitate people like this, it might take over the retail stores.

Talking to The Nation, retailer Faisal Janjua, owner of a shop in Liberty Market, said this year they were floating special offers to attract buyers. “I have done publicity of my products through my Facebook page. There is only a specific class, which comes to purchase clothes for Eid-ul-Fitr in Liberty and elsewhere in posh areas, while a large number of people is buying online due to special discount offers,” he said.

“If we are selling unstitched embroidered lawn for Rs4,000, they are selling the same product for Rs3,500 with free home delivery. We have increased the prices of all our stuff because this year there is no sale,” he said.

Jawad Malik, resident of Samanabad, said he came to Ichhra market to purchase suits and shoes for his children but changed his mind after finding out that they were very expensive. “There is no check on the shopkeepers. The price of a pair of standard shoes for children ranges between Rs600 to Rs800 which is higher than last year,” he said.

Khaadi store manager Amir said that those who live near shopping malls prefer to buy on their own. “In comparison, walk in sales as compared to last year have fallen. Mostly people are purchasing online and we are going out of stock this time,” he said. Fashion designer Arsalan Iqbal was of the view that e-commerce was the future of clothing line. “Awareness has improved so much that now it has surpassed retail store sales.”

“If we compare the online sales with the average sales of one of our highest sales generating flagship outlet then yes, online business is going head to head,” he said.

Fashion designer Erum Khan was of the view that her brand had specific lines catering to each segment and price point, fulfilling the design needs of each. “Bridal wear is expensive that is the reason international buyers rather than local prefer purchasing bridal wear online. On Eid, embroidered lawn is more sold online because of the prices,” she said.

Shopkeeper Babar Awan of Anarkali said that people were not coming to bazaars due to sweltering heat. “Online shopping special offers do not worry us. Middle and lower middleclass people come here for shopping. They don’t come at day time; they start coming after Iftar. Hopefully, the Eid rush will start in a couple of days,” Babar said.

Tesla’s Kauai solar facility will offset 1.6M gallons of fuel use per year

Tesla’s Kauai solar power facility is officially open for business as of Friday, with a 13 MW SolarCity solar farm installation providing power to a Powerpack storage facility with 52 MWh of total capacity. The beauty of the new facility, in terms of the specific needs of the sun-soaked island in the Pacific, is that it can capture energy from the sun during peak daytime production hours, and then keep that power ready for peak consumption hours at night.

This is a relatively new reality for solar power generation, made possible by Tesla’s Powerpack tech, which is essentially the commercial version of its Powerwall home storage batteries. Hawaii is already a big solar power consumer, which makes sense for the same reason it makes sense that the state is such a draw to tourists, too. But Tesla’s initiative is the first to answer the problem of peak production time overlapping almost exactly with times where need for power is at its lowest.

Tesla’s new solar facility in Kauai isn’t going to completely reduce its dependence on fossil fuels — the island will still rely on diesel shipped in to provide some of its power requirements. But the new facility will offset some of that use of dirty burning fuel, reducing overall usage of fossil fuels for power needs by around 1.6 million gallons per year.

The new energy project was developed by Tesla for the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, and it’s the biggest solar storage facility in the world, according to KIUC president and CEO David Bissell. It occupies a field that was once used to grow sugarcane. The project is a key part of Hawaii’s goal of using 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, and for Tesla, it’s the perfect way to demonstrate how it can deploy these kinds of facilities to fit similar needs around the world.

  KIUC’s Tesla solar plant uses Powerpack 2, Tesla’s second-generation commercial storage, which is made at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada. The project began with an RFP issued by KIUC in 2014, which led to a year of discussions between itself, Tesla and Grove Farms, which owns the land upon which it’s built. In 2016, the companies struck a deal and Solar City brought Tesla in as its storage supplier — then later that same year, Tesla acquired the solar energy provider.

Tesla’s hoping that the example of what it’s done in Kauai will act as a roadmap for what it can do for other commercial energy providers around the world. It’s also a key proof point for why it made sense to tie up Tesla and SolarCity via their merger last year.

Tesla CTO JB Straubel said that the unique aspect, and the most important, with this facility is that it’s the first time that a solar facility can deliver really reliable power delivery 24 hours a day, and operate when it’s needed most. It’s also a necessary step toward achieving 100 percent renewable energy sourcing, he says, since without the ability to defer power delivery the most you can ever hope for is 20 to 30 percent. He added that it’s a sign that they’re ready to truly deliver fully scalable facilities to suit the increasing size of demand across markets.

It can easily scale the other way, too, according to Straubel. He said at the launch that they’re seeing more customers who are looking to Powerpack for single-site energy backup, and also highlighted Powerwall, which offers the same to residential customers.

Straubel also stressed that Tesla wants to provide an “integrated, collaborative approach” to energy production and supply along with utilities, rather than espousing an “either/or approach,” which is a very sensible stance to take when you’re presenting alongside a utility company partner and client.

Hawaii governor David Ige also spoke at the event, highlighting the Hawaiian people’s commitment to renewable energy sources, which he says they see clearly “are the future.” He added that “storage is the challenge” for the state, despite abundance of renewable sources, including geothermal, solar and more. “The challenge is making energy available when the consumer needs it,” Ige said, which is why the project is something that the state found so attractive.

Ige said that he truly believes companies like Tesla who are willing to raise and invest funds in the task of making renewable energy affordable for everyday consumers are the way forward in achieving the state’s 100 percent renewable power goals.