First online supermarket kicks off
Monday, 01 September 2008

Staff Correspondent

The country's first online supermarket www.chorka.com was launched Saturday, allowing people at home and abroad to browse and buy Bangladesh-made goods online.

Online shoppers will be able to choose from a variety of product lines by 24 Bangladeshi companies—including apparel, food, furniture, books, electronics and lifestyle accessories—and enjoy home delivery round the clock, said a statement of the new supermarket.
 
Muhammad Abdul Mazid, chairman of the National Board of Revenue, inaugurated the online super market, at a grand opening ceremony at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel.
 
"With the inauguration of Chorka a new world has been opened up in our busy city life. It will reduce the hassles of shopping," Abdul Mazid said.
 
The NBR chief hoped the online supermarket would be popular within a short time.
 
Chorka, a Bangladesh-US joint venture, is expecting more than 100 brand shops and distributors of Bangladeshi products to join them by the end of the year.
 
Goods of Kay Kraft, Anjan, Deshal, Fit Elegance, Rangs, Oboyob, Charon, Mahua Pushpalya, Ferns n Petals, Pushponir, Harappa, Mr Baker, Webcom, Thakral Information Systems, CMPL, Global Brand, Oitijjhya, Shomoy Prokashon, International Book Agency, Shop21, Ruposhi, Rankstel and Prestige Bengal are among those currently on sale on Chorka's website.
 
Annisul Huq, president of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, urged the government to support the potential new business sector to be sustainable.
 
"It could open up a new horizon in the field of information technology if it gets government assistance," Huq said.
 
Chorka.com will operate three payment models: international credit cards, Mobile Phone 'm-payment' and cash on delivery by the registered customer.
 
Chorka's marketing director Sazal Hazra said: "Chorka aims to facilitate the spread of Bangladeshi brands from remote local places to abroad."
 
"We are also targeting customers who don't have credit cards."
 
Online shopping has yet to take off in Bangladesh due to lack of suitable payment methods, absence of quality portals and low penetration of internet, said Chorka.
 
But the scenario is rapidly changing, and with internet penetration growing, The company hopes its success defines a new era in shopping culture.
 
It also believes that convenience in shopping, lower prices, security in transactions and a quality delivery mechanism will attract customers to shop online.
 
Security of Chorka transactions will be ensured by "McAfee Secure", "Comodo" and "Authorise.net". They also provide interactive online support, 24-hour customer care.
 
"Chorka is opening up a new window for shop owners to generate a complete new revenue stream with almost zero investment. It will also help to promote our brand worldwide" says Kanak Aditya, owner of Deshal.
 
Chorka's partners plan various attractive offers ahead of coming Eid-ul-Fitr.

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