Fair-price treats put freeze on 'ice-cream assassins'
On scorching summer days, enjoying an ice cream is great way to cool down.
In downtown Yangpu District, ice-cream store Guohe Cold Drink Wholesale Store on Guohe Road, is popular with both locals and people who live far away.
Unlike "ice-cream assassins", ordinary-looking ice creams that prove to be high priced when rung up at the till, popsicles and ice creams are sold here at affordable prices.
A saltwater popsicle, a familiar old-time bite for many Shanghai natives, only costs 0.9 yuan (US13 cents) each.
About 400 kinds in 25 brands of ice-creams can be found in the shop, and most of their prices range between 2 and 5 yuan.
The business strategy that the store owner Zhao Xuekuan adopts is small profits but quick turnover. All the ice creams in the store are sold at a 30-percent discount.
"I have rarely raised the price of the products in my store in the last 26 years," said Zhao. "Customers can eat more ice cream with lower price.
"We also sell some high-price ice cream, like Zhong Xue Gao (Chice Cream) and Haagen-Dazs, but cheaper than other places."
The fair price attracts many customers and some even travel far to buy.
"I started to buy ice cream since I moved here three years ago," said a female customer. "They have the lowest price I know in Shanghai and rich variety."
Another woman, surnamed Li, added: "I live in Jing'an, and my parents live close to this place. I come here many times a year in summer, each time I buy about 100 to 200 yuan of ice cream."
Some residents living near the store have become loyal customers.
"I've been buying ice cream from it for almost 20 years," said a man, surnamed Chen. "It used to be located in a smaller place near this one, but the price almost remains the same."
Since the operation resumed on June 1 after the past citywide lockdown, the store has moved from its old site of about 20 square meters to the new site with a bigger space of more than 30 square meters.
The variety of cold drinks has further increased from about 200 to about 400, and the area of the freezer storage has also increased.
Shanghai has been roasting in sizzling weather for more than 10 days. And the hotter the weather is, the more customers come to visit the store.
"When the temperature was around 40 degrees Celsius in the last few days, there was an endless stream of people at the store," said a resident.
The store also provides ice cream for some companies to treat their employees, according to Zhao.