Saravana Stores in T.Nagar, Chennai is certainly a big success story of retail in India and comparable in their low price strategy only to Wal-Mart of USA. I visited the “பிரமாண்டமாய்” store as it is called in Tamil after their popular launch TV ads a few years back. I went with my wife and kid today evening as we wanted to buy a wall clock as a gift for someone in the family. We dreaded the thought as the service in their stores are known to be bad to non-existent, and parking is impossible for miles around the store. Yet we braved it as we were looking for variety at a good price and nothing comes close to Saravana Stores for that combination.
Today was a normal working day so we presumed the crowd won’t be much – how wrong we were!. All the 7 floors were packed with people on every square inch, and each floor had over 100 of their staffs which made the place more crowded than it needs to be. If someone is brought blind-folded here they will certainly think some free distribution is going on here. You couldn’t see an item for more than 5 seconds in an aisle as you have to keep moving to give way to passing traffic. The management will do well for its customers if they remove one or two aisles on each floor to give more moving space.
All said, the varieties they have stocked in every item is as wide as it can get, it was incredible. Can you imagine, they have a whole floor in the annexure building for School Bags alone. If you consider Big Bazaar (BB) to be there competitor then BB will have only 20% of the variety Saravana Store has. After a 30-minute unforgettable shopping experience, we came out in one piece. My 6-year-old son was the happiest of all – with 4 toys on his hand. I was happy too, as I spent only Rs.50 per toy against 10 times of what I would’ve, had I gone to any other toy store in the city.