Indian Retail Story: a long way to go but not too far.

Indian Retail Story

Today I was at Croma, Tata’s electronics retail chain. Its pretty impressive, but not for the one who has seen Fry’s Electronics, Best Buys, Circuit Cities. Well, you will say why am I comparing it with US’s retail stores? why? cause they are way advanced and too matuare. We have just begun.
Yes, we have just begun. In a way Indian retail story is fairly new, I remember going to a retail grocery mall and buying my things 7 years before in a city like Aurangabad. Since then, there hasn’t been much change. Take an example of Krome. No innovation at all, not much variety, highly priced items. I was looking at laptops, they only had Sony,Compaq and Acer. Prices were too high than the market rate. One customer was enquiring seriously about laptops and I felt like saying, go for Dell !!! They are cheap, sturdy and give best performance, their service is the best.
I was interested in LCD monitors, they hardly had 8-10 models of ViewSonic and Samsung. I liked none. I could see, they have copied one of these US retailers but failed badly.

But to my surprise, Reliance Fresh seems to be doing really good. I was a regular customer of Spencer’s Daily and True Mart. But when it comes to selling Vegetables and Fruits, they really did a miserable job. They rarely had fresh vegetables. Weighing and pricing mechanism was really poor. Untrained staff wasted a lot of time while checkout, cause when it comes to fruits and vegetables, they do not have an elegant billing system. Big Bazar have done more horrible job. Their vegetables and fruits stink. You don’t want go near them. They have tried to sell everything from vegetables to electronics but are good at none.
Reliance really have a nice system in place. Their vegetables and fruits are really FRESH. And best part is they really have a good variety of vegetables. I was having hard time to get Lettuce and Broccoli. But they have it. Apart from that they even had chinese cabbage, red cabbage, snake guard, disco pumpkin. And above all, all these vegetables are really cheap than market rate.
Just for example I state some rates here as of today, Sept 10th 2007
Tomato (Premium Quality) Market: Rs.16/kg Reliance Fresh: Rs10/kg
Potato Market: Rs.12-16/kg Reliance Fresh: Rs11/kg
Onion Market: Rs.20-22/kg Reliance Fresh: Rs19.50/kg

Not only that, I spent 500 bucks at Dhole Patil Reliance Fresh and they gave me 50 Rupees voucher. 10% net saving.
Checkout was so fast. They have weighing scale integrated with billing system seamlessly. And the person on counter was really smart and trained to do things fast.
It was a pleasant experience.
Indian retail industry is changing at a very fast rate. Soon Bharti-Wal-Mart would enter into scene and we may see totally different picture. We have just begun and we have a long way to go, but not too far.

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  1. Vikas
    Posted September 29, 2007 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    hey eknath,

    it was interesting information.. so now now u must not be missing USA shopping…thanks for sharing this…

    But never mind bhaji mandai madhe shopping karaychi majaa aurach ahe ) and you get fresh vegetables too ….( its different story i dont like doing vegetables shopping

  2. Posted January 29, 2008 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    It was a informative and nice post.

  3. Posted January 29, 2008 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    it was nice and informative post thanks.

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