Chennai Retail – Heating Up!

In general, there is talk in market circles about how Retail in India is set to boom in a few years. The trend has certainly started and I feel the retailers are slow to keep pace with the consumers’ demands.

To understand look at the massive crowd in Saravana Stores (பிரமாண்டமாய்), Pothys or RMKV in Usman Road, or in Spencer Plaza or Chennai City Centre. Earlier it used to be crowded only before festivals & weekends – now it is crowded 365 days. The time is right for Saravana Stores to follow Singapore Mustafa and keep the shop open 24 hours a day. More than anyone I will be happy to shop if they keep it open 24 hours – you can go in the night, park easily and shop without the hassles.

Today I went with my wife and kid to the new entrant in the city Pantaloons’ Big Bazaar. In the store and in the parking lots there was a huge crowd (ஃபிரியாக {free} கொடுப்பது போல் கூட்டம்). There was an attractive exchange offer going on, people can bring any old household items, old papers, old clothes or anything. Based on the weight they are given coupons of “N” value. You need to shop for 4 times the “N”, then you can get “N” as a discount. Not a totally free deal, but certainly a good marketing plot to get the mass footfall – especially the lower income and low middle income who otherwise will consider a brand like Big Bazaar to be expensive and not walk in at all. We didn’t buy anything today, as we didn’t have the patience to stand in the huge “Queue” for check-out. In the 30 minutes or so that I spent in the store, it seemed to be well-laid, the staff informed and well stocked – and this is a compliment from someone who enjoys spending time in all major retail stores around the world (US, UK, Aussie &  South-East Asia). If BB can maintain the prices, quality and ambience – I feel Big Bazaar can give good competition to Wal-Mart whenever they enter India.

Big Bazaar seems to have an online version at


  • Manish Jain

    Very true that they are not being able to keep the pace but could not deny the fact the amount of players that are entering the market. That would help bring stability at some point as that would certainly give options for consumers. As for the Shopping offers, people can now view the offers online in sites like ours , which showcases the various offers going on in the retail stores . People would not hence have to step in to check the deal thereby reducing the so called "window shopping" . They could make the decision checking the deals online and step into the right shop and buy with ease.

  • Joshan.V.John

    @ sarath
    The grocery buying option is at present limited to bangalore only… But they have various other brands… I think you missed out on GK Vale with its digital cameras, camcorders,ipods et al…

    Product Engineer

  • sarath

    It’s true that retailers are slow to keep pace with the consumers demands. I think the only way to keep th pace is Making the customers shop online for their products. For that they have to find out solutions to satisfy the customer needs.
    I have found one Newly launched online portal in bangalore named which has come up with a concept of selling groceries online.Major Retailers and OEM Brands like Namdharis Fresh, MTR, Dr Morepen, Jus’Trufs, Mars, Pedigree,The Art of Living ,Indus Tree Crafts etc has tied up with storrz to sell their products online.It gives a shopping at a mall like experience where we can find different stores and shop from these stores.Storrz have introduced a very convenient payment option for the customers like swiping their credit/debit card and using Sodexho meal pass at the time of delivery .The option of swiping the Credit/Debit card on delivery is really appreciated by the customers in Bangalore. Storrz has their own delivery team to deliver products across Bangalore. So this kind of options will surely attract customers and will encourage them to shop online for their daily needs also.