Odel (Kohuwela).

The Good

Unlike their flagship store at Alexandra Place, this outlet is not a tourist hotspot and you don’t have to queue up for a vacant changing room because it is rarely (if ever) crowded.
The products at Kohuwala are slightly more affordable for the average shopper. You can buy a summer dress for around Rs 2500.

The men’s section is usually deserted but there is a decent collection for such a small space – shirts, cufflinks, ties, sunglasses, and if you feel like awakening your inner Indiana Jones, they also have a surprising variety of fedoras and leather cowboy hats with tassels.

There is a homeware section where you can find lamps, linen, kitchenware etc. Music is played at a reasonable volume, not the ecstasy-rave throbbing decibel level they insist on playing at their flagship store. You can actually hear yourself think here .

The Not So Good

There are women’s accessories which (apart from a very steep increase in price) are difficult to distinguish from those I’ve seen at Bangkok, Beijing or Bughis Junction street markets, but this is true of all Odel outlets.

Creepy customer service finishing school seems to be the Backstage accessories section . There is a distinction to be made between shadowing and hovering. Shadowing is when a staff member is literally right behind you and if you would be so bold as to take a step backward , there is a good chance you will step on their feet. Hovering is more subtle, where they watch your every move from a distance under the mistaken impression that they are being discreet.

The Kohuwala branch staff are better than most, and they rarely shadow, although they do hover sometimes. I really don’t understand why this behaviour is necessary at Odel, which has plenty of security features – guards, detectors etc.
Hovering aside, the staff here are courteous, polite and helpful , though a little timid so you might have to prod them for some help.

The Fragrance Fortress

There is a compact shiny glass fortress for Exclusive Lines perfumes. I am not a fan of items locked behind glass display cases , where you have to point out which one you want like a kid at a sweetshop, it is just plain condescending to customers. But I do like Marjoree. She’s a veteran perfume vendor, and she knows what she’s doing. If you want something floral, young, sexy, masculine, subtle or even if you don’t know what you want (and have at least Rs 6000 to spare) – she will help you out.

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