Saturday, December 22, 2007

Subhiksha, second thoughts

Subhiksha, as it started off was and continues to be a contrarian in the retail market in India. Its strategy of going near catchment areas, having smaller shops and self service with a simple 10% off on the MRP was the perfect strategy to get shoppers. No air conditioning, no fancy-schmancy doorkeepers - just simple value for money.

Yet, over time its strategy seems to have floundered. The big thing wrong about them is their lack of choice. Their stores are small to begin with and ever so often seem to run out of stocks. Given that they stock a selective number of items and brands, this is a disaster. Because each time I go to their shop, I get only part of my shopping done and then I have to go to another shop to finish it. Choice is big - second only to bargaining. If you dont let me bargain, let me choose. Compare and contrast. Hold two items in two hands and compare it till you decide. No choice doesn't leave customers feeling very good.

Their vegetable shop is almost similar. It is one thing to have a small shop, it is another thing to look worse than a vegetable market. Even the market has simple decent baskets that help you select produce. It is one thing to put up an appealing display, it is another thing to put a display that is totally repellent.

So, going by my experience with this shop over the past more than a year, I change my view from what I had here, to what my compatriot had, here. The simple thing for them is go back to their basics which seems to have been lost along the way and yes, do stop selling mobiles. I come to Subhiksha to buy groceries, not mobiles and they are not the same.


ggop said...

I agree. Choice is a big thing. I've started going to the more expensive megamart just to avoid doing multiple trips to various stores.

Sankt Ingen said...

This sounds so prophetic today