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It was a bad idea to go to Agha’s on Friday. In the same vicinity as Sapphire, we completely forgot about the summer sale and the madness that would surround the store. It was crazy. At around 5pm the Sapphire store was half shutter down, allowing limited numbers of people in to avoid overcrowding inside. And the queue outside featured women, men and even their kids. It looked like some sort of weird cult family outing.

The Sapphire summer loot sale has become a tradition for women, who find the 50% discount irresistible. We saw footage of the madness unravel at Sapphire stores across the country and got in touch with Khadijah Shah, Creative Director Sapphire, to find out how she handles the pressure of this demand and the hate mail that comes from disappointed customers who have to wait for hours to be told that the clothes are ‘sold out’.

“I was on social media throughout, responding to people myself,” Khadijah spoke to us from Lahore. “A lot of complaints were about the online portal but there’s only so much traffic that the site could handle. Thankfully not many people in the stores had complaints. Online customers were disappointed; we’re trying to deal with it and solve problems for future sales.”

This kind of sale at Sapphire happens twice a year. Do you have any numbers on how many women shopped at Sapphire stores nationwide in this one?

“There was an insane number of people, and I’ll be able to give you the numbers in a day or two,” she responded. “The lines went around the mall. In our first sale I remember we had to shut down the store so we implemented a mechanism that would count and allow a certain number inside the store. People were camped outside with water and fans etc.”

Which branches of the store did best business?

“All the stores, even Hyderabad and Bahawalpur had an amazing response,” she confirmed. “It just shows that people recognize and want a good product. The success of Sapphire and Khaadi shows that people know a good product; women are now zoned into trends and fashion.”

“Sapphire is an example of a brand that has helped evolve the high street woman’s taste,” she added. “It’s a testament to the fact that fashion trickles from top to bottom. The kind of people coming in are in cars, rickshaws, motorbikes…they all want to wear good fashion.”