A shiny new grocery store opened in the lane of my apartment building. It’s called – Spencers. So, apart from this newly opened organized retailer, all other shops are the mom and pop kind. The tally of the local grocery stores in my lane is now a cool – 8. There are also 3 chemists and numerous other stores. Mind you this is a closed entry residential neighborhood.
I haven’t been to the Spencers yet, but I’ve seen their employees hanging out wearing orange uniforms. Their glass windows reveal stuff is organized in bins and stacks. They have computerized POS (Point of Sale) terminal, everything is barcoded etc etc.
So the question is how does the local guy compete with this organized retail? What can the local store offer that this high-funda organized retailers cannot. The local guys provide home delivery, so does Spencers. Infact, instead of providing personalized honest and quick service, the local guys cheat you with prices, don’t give the freebies that come with products (the “buy juice, get glass free” kind), don’t give you a bill etc. So with the risk of sounding offensive, I’ll even say that the local guys take advantage of the very people who support them with their business.
So is the organized player at an advantage then? Well, no so fast. They close shop at 10 pm, while the local guy is up till 10.30 pm or even 11.00 pm. The local medicine shop stays open 24 hours, the Medicine Shoppe located almost next door, shuts down at 10 pm. Spencers doesn’t stock Khakras – a must have item in a neighborhood where most of the residents are Gujarati. But the organized guy will catch up.
The way I see it happening out, is that the organized guys will learn and improve sooner or later. They have the money power to pull it off. The window of opportunity for the local guy is small. What can the local store guy do to keep his boat afloat? Should go to bed with the enemy or hold on his own?