The Anchor: 4 reasons why FDI in retail will not shake up mom ‘n pop stores

24 Sep,2012

By Ganapathy Viswanathan


#1 Convenience: The local grocery is located close to one’s residence so that one can go at leisure and buy things during any point of the day. Alternatively the shop will not hesitate to give free home delivery – even if only one item is ordered. Unlike the big retail chain which insists on a minimum amount of order for free home delivery. These little things make a difference.


#2 Cost: Being a long-standing customer he or she always gets the benefit of competitive price. Here there will always be the argument that the big retail shops offer lower prices, but trusted long-term customers of mom-and-pop stores do not always look at only price, they also look at consistency in the quality of products such as cereals and spices.


#3 Choice: Most local grocery stores also offers a wide choice but include local brands which have gained customer loyalty. This is most common in a category like beverages (tea and coffee). Big retail chains are more likely to go by universal tastes as they cater to a larger population.


#4 Customer Care: Customer care has been the emphasis for most giant supermarket stores but the kind of personal touch that small stores give cannot be replaced. The personal equation of the owner is so good that he often knows the likes and dislikes of each family member. He is also likely to know the first name of his customer and hence is able to connect with the customer and establish a bond. This is missing in the big retail stores.


Ganapathy Viswanathan is a senior communications professional based in Mumbai


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