Wednesday, January 05, 2005

David v/s Goliath - retail

Every alternate issue of business magazines have an article on the imminent demise of the small retailer, yet my grocer survives all doomsday predictions. I wonder why. If I have to buy a small amount of something, I find it convenient to walk up to him and buy it on my way back from work rather than walk through a maze of supermarket style aisles search, stand in a queue at the counter and go home with a 500 gram pack of coriander seeds though I want just 100 grams. On the contrary, if I have a huge order, I give him a list and he delivers it home. Both these prevent me from "impluse shopping".
He also knocks off a few rupees from retail items (supermarkets usually charge MRP or offer reduced prices on a combination of items one or both of which I dont want or a discount if I shop worth a lakh or so)
If I dont have money on me for some reason, I can always pay him later and pick up something I want without having to reach for a credit card.

I go the supermarket only when I am in a leisurely mood. Recently my company offered me coupons which I could use. My grocer lost a valuable client. For a few weeks my shopping happened at the supermarket. I bought a lot of junk on impulse and it looked like the doomsday prediction for the neighbourhood grocer was coming true in due course.

As I went to him a few days back to buy yet another 100 gm of something that the supermarket wouldn't offer anything less than half a kilo, I saw a small notice "food coupons accepted". Needless to say, I am back with him for shopping. Impulse shopping is gone, for now.

1 comment:

coolshweta said...

Hi Neelakantan,

I'm from the mag a Retail Biz - BBC and Bennett, Coleman and Company's rertail mag. We are doing a feature on unorganised retail fro our Feb 2007 issue.

I came across your 'David vs Goliath' in Interim Thoughts and found it very interesting. Was wondering if you could give me permission to publish it in our mag, with due credit to you (with picture). I don't have your e-mail ID. If you are interested, please e-mail me at at the earliest.

I will be happy to get a reply from you.

Thanks and regards,
Shweta Parande
Retail Biz