Mai Samih looks at innovative ways to overcome the escalating prices
Street vendors have increased in number after 25 January 2011. They sell many types of goods such as china kitchenware and homegrown vegetables.
Downtown, near a metro station, is a grocery on the street with almost everything in a food store. Prices are much lower than in the local supermarket: two packets of cheese, about a quarter of a kilo each, sell for LE10 instead of LE11; six bars of soap cost LE10 instead of LE12; a packet of noodles cost LE1 instead of LE1.5; a tin of tuna costs LE3.5 instead of LE4.5.
The vendor, who would not say his name, only recently started his business. He, along with his friends, decided to start a project to provide people with food at the cheapest prices possible. "We started before the protests," he said. About 75 per cent of the goods are imported, and the rest are products from the local factories.
Intissar Abdel-Moneim, a policewoman and a mother, is a regular customer who comes for the low prices. "I buy these products because their prices are wholesale. The products are clean and properly packed with an expiry date on them. They are really safe to eat," she said. Buying food from the streets is not new to Abdel-Moneim who has witnessed many mobile market projects.
"We get the goods from the companies. The agents themselves come and give us the products and we only gain LE0.5 in profit," said the vendor. The street vendors are able to sell at lower prices because they do not have to pay electricity, taxes, and wages which they would otherwise pay if they had to rent a shop.