A Retailer visit few supermarket last Sunday

After spending 30 plus years with India’s pioneer retailers, buying and / or selling food stuff for them, ‘retailer’ or a ‘food value chain practitioner’ tag is what I like most when I think of addressing myself.

This surely reveals identity of the retailer in title of this post.

So the retailer visits a neighboring mall, this time to buy stuff, a rare occurrence as almost all his shopping is done by his wife.

It is not important why he made an exception this time what is important is two learnings he is going to share here. But the most pertinent point is that the learning he is going to share is perhaps decades old but most of Indian retailers, my honorable colleagues are not listening or I am missing something?
Following is the gist of some unscholarly but profound knowledge that I revisited that Sunday evening.

Learning # 1 revisited

You can have a customer who comes to your far away store just because you have a SINGLE product that s/he wants to take home but s/he buys MANY other things on impulse in the process. Now the store stops stocking that product because it is not fact moving or giving lesser margin but s/he stops coming to that store forever.
Why despite having a mature IT industry and elaborate loyalty programs we have not been able to mine shoppers’ data to plug such loopholes by keeping a bare minimum inventory of products such as in current context.

Where is my Aveon Café Royale Mr. BIG B?

Learning # 2 revisited

Long queue at the checkouts on a sunny summer evening is not something to cheer about; it is symptomatic of a deeper malaise that needs to be figured out before it figures you out.
Believe me, on that sweaty Sunday in just couple of minutes five people, including the humble self, threw the ‘intended buy’ stuff at the cash till and moving out swearing not to visit the store again. Who has time and inclination to wait at the checkout for 30/40 minutes to buy something that has taken just few minutes to pick from the shelf?

MORE customers are sometime counterproductive if one can’t put up systems and processes for quicker checkouts.


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