Inside Palms Shopping Mall, Ota

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Since it opened for business in December 2016, the Palms Shopping Mall, Ota, Ogun State has been the toast of shoppers in  Abule Egba, Meiran, Ijaiye Ojokoro, Alagbado, Sango Ota, Ifo and other neighbouring communities.

The first of its kind in the state was declared open by Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State amidst fanfare and excitement.

The mall is situated within the Ogun and Lagos State border  and by estimation, is expected to  serve a combined population of nearly 5 million  within the area.

As expected, shoppers visit the facility in group, individually, family, couples and  friends for different objectives ranging from actual shopping, window shopping, lovers rendezvous, relaxation and selfie taking amongst others.

Like other sophisticated malls in the heart of Lagos, the commercial nerve of Nigeria, the mall flaunts a soothing ambience, colourful architecture and an ample free parking space as it charges no toll yet.

Nothwithstanding, the experience with the shop attendants is heartwarming.

A stroll to max store   for instance presents a homely feeling. Max deals in corporate, casual and children clothing. The warm attention, welcome smile  and the friendly gesture of the attendants all combine to rate its customers service a B.

Even though the prices of its wares would have been far accepted in the super-rich  and posh areas like Lekki, Banana Island and Ikeja in Lagos, customers may  still manage to succumb to the executive bill considering the warmth reception of the attendants.

Right inside Shoprite, the centre of attraction  and glamour of the mall is this frenzy for freshly baked bread.

The place wears the look of a bus stop going by the long queue formed in three lines comparable to the queue at the BRT park. One needs not take an extra effort to figure oh the “oh my God” expression on the faces of customers curiously waiting for their turn.   ‘I would rather not eat Shoprite bread’ whispered a customer in Yoruba language as she  passes buy from another section in the store. However, the queue could have been tolerated if the attendants were forward and friendly.

A first time or a confused shopper may need to exercise patience and carefully comb the sections for choice products because the ‘ask me ‘porters are not too neighbourly to help a confused customer.

The restaurant section brings no differ experience. save for the appearance of the attendant which is enticing, his Para-language, gesture and expression would not delight a customer to come again. A patronising and luscious appearance, the taste in the food has not justified it, maybe because it was served cold along with the burnt crumbs underneath the pot.

Then ,the fast moving consumers good sections are  neatly arranged, filled with varieties and pleasing to the eyes that one could swallow one’s salary at a glance with or without a shop list.

Finally at the cashier stands, customers maintain different expressions, sighs and gesture as they anxiously wait for their turn on the long queue. Initially, it was one cashier attending to almost a hundred customers but the anxiety break when other cashiers were on break but still occupied their stands leaving customers to jostle for the front position. But how could all the cashiers except for one go on break at the same time?

A not too good and not too bad experience, Ota mall still needs  to take a cue from other senior colleagues to reach the fair haven. Notwithstanding, it is a place to visit.