Even though Vanguard Pharmacy is closer to Iyana Church than Monatan, it remains the most popular pharmaceutical store and shopping outlet from Olodo to Iwo Road. But the readiness of FoodCo to open a new store at Monatan, the whole game is about to change.
To have a feel of what could work for or against both outlets as they prepare to battle for customers, especially shoppers in that area, I decided to shop at both outlets. I went to get some gift stuffs at FoodCo outlet at Idi Ape and edible stuffs at Vanguard Pharmacy.
Even though I regularly pass through the shopping complex that houses FoodCo at Idi Ape regularly, I found it difficult locating the store. At a point, I felt like just going home. Even when I asked for direction, the place people were pointing me to wasn’t clear enough. A simple guide would have worked.
This made me realise that FoodCo actually has that problem with some of its outlets in different parts of the city. Look at the one at the mall for instance. It is just hiding in one corner although it has several good stuffs.
Vanguard Pharmacy on the other hand has location advantage which means you can’t miss it.
Both FoodCo and Vanguard are found wanting in this regard. Staff used to be one of the reasons why I don’t shop at Vanguard because of a not-so-good experience I once had. Several months ago, the guy at the paying point attempted to confuse me with the sum total of what I bought. I actually paid but the lady that checks the stuffs bought before packing noted this and pointed it out to me. I went to the guy and he attempted to blame me. I was livid and decided to stop shopping entirely there.
But when I returned on Friday,things had slightly improved. The workers are more hospitable although they remain reluctant to embrace cashless transaction. A woman also got her payment mixed up.
FoodCo isn’t any better either. Having been to outlets at Bodija, Idi Ape and Cocoa Mall, I’ve come to the conclusion that the company doesn’t have a standard customer experience policy. The most annoying staff would be the ones at Idi Ape.
I don’t know if they are being owed salaries because they are so hostile. I asked one of them for advice, she literally shunned me. They will reluctantly answer your questions and will spend more time gossiping than actually helping customers out. The guys at Bodija and at the mall are better caring.
So I guess both outlets have work to do on the quality of their customer experience.
Apart from drugs, they sell largely the same stuffs but I’m sure FoodCo has more stuffs than Vanguard. This is a very critical issue because no matter how good your services are, if you don’t have what people want, they will go elsewhere. Vanguard needs to expand its gift offerings and could use a very good kitchen section too.
FoodCo on the other hand needs to spice things up with more collections so that people won’t have to go all the way to Dugbe or Ring Road for shopping.
The store with the lowest price and highest quality will always win. Currently, I think Vanguard’s price are considerably lower than FoodCo’s. It should stay that way and the store can introduce more offers that would attract more customers.
Monatan seems to be the newly found bride for stores in Ibadan. There is a lot of money to be made considering the large number of people living in the area. But quality of service is everything in addition to customer comfort and satisfaction. The game is still open. So I guess good luck is in order.