Why supermarkets are eating up small shop owners?

I have argued about this with many people, some of them said, it is good that supermarkets are coming up, we are getting more options.. some of them said, because of supermarkets, small guys are shutting down their business coz everyone is getting things at dirt cheap rate there..

But ever thought why it happens? Just because those biggies have more money? No, actually most of the small shop guys get into unethical stuff, they do not provide good service, they do not keep themselves updated with the latest trends. I know, not all are same but most of them surely are.

Just few examples to make whole thing simpler.. We have a general store just near our building, I went there yesterday to buy some cold drink, the MRP was written as Rs. 20 but he charged me Rs. 22.. why? Rs. 2 extra to keep in the refrigerator.. Does it make any sense?

There is one more shop near my friend’s place.. his mom sometimes buys the stuff from there.. one day she bought some biscuit.. she paid the money and returned back home.. and after checking the pack properly, they found out that, it was the duplicate biscuit pack.

One more guy runs a general store, sells the stuff at higher price.. but when argued.. we get vague answers like.. you can buy from other shops if you want, my rates are going to be same..

Now, I know, these the experiences I had with shopkeepers and it does not mean that everyone must be facing the same issue but I am pretty much sure that more than 90% of the people are facing the same kind of issues..

Now, the question is.. if.. i.e. IF.. they stop doing these kind of activities, is it still going to help? What about the prices?

Well, now.. as the time moves.. we have to move along with that and look out for more options.. lookout how we can improve our business…

Say, for example.. if some wholesaler is giving heavy discount if you buy xx number of quantity and you alone cannot buy so much.. then simply gather other shopkeepers and buy together.. this way, everyone gets benefited and you can compete with other big guys too.

I have seen malls specially started for wholesale purpose.. there is a mall called Metro in Bhandup (Mumbai), it is meant only for shopkeepers and you get goods at very cheap rates.

Okay, now let’s assume that still supermarket rates are cheaper then yours.. so now what?

Now, here comes the personalized service in picture..

Supermarkets will never be able to provide personalized service to their customers.. and if they do, they will have to hike the rates a bit to meet the expenses..

So a small shopkeeper provides better service and the rates are bit higher than supermarkets.. most of the customers are not gonna worry coz they are getting the best service at their doorstep.

There are many other ways in which small shopkeepers can compete with the biggies but they just need to follow the right path.. they should be aware that customers are smarter than earlier these days..

SO, the purpose of this post is to say that, to stay in the market.. we should always keep ourselves updated.. this applies to any kind of business, any field.. and if we do not keep ourselves updated.. it won’t take time for someone to kick us out from the market..

Just my 2 cents though..


  1. Deep some of my thoughts on your post:
    Local shopkeepers will always have business for the following reasons:
    1) Not everyone is welcome in Malls (I mean all “classes”)
    2) There cannot be a mall in every neighborhood of a city.
    3) If you need to buy only a few items, its not worth driving to a mall, paying Rs. 20-Rs. 50 for parking to save Rs. 2/- or so on products.
    4) Local shopkeepers usually open early and shut late.

    But if you can plan your monthly visit to a mall then it will most definitely save you some money.

  2. 1. Actually to be frank, I have seen people from all the classes roaming around in Big Bazaar but yes, majority from lower class will prefer small shops than the malls but small shops depend upon everyone..

    2. Yes, that’s right but these days.. supermarkets like Subhiksha are popping up everywhere.. in Mulund itself. we have 3-4 outlets.. but yes, it cannot spread so much..

    3. Yes it is not worth going to malls for small things but these days I have seen people buy the stuff for a week or few days.. this business can be given to the small shops if they improve their quality and habits.

    4. Yes, that I totally agree with u.. these kind of small advantages and added service can really help their business to grow but they should also realize this..

  3. The main reason why i avoid supermarkets like Big Bazaar is.. The Q for billing.. God its horrible.. on Sundays it takes about 30 mins to pick the good and about 45 mins in the que for billing.. sucks.. i would rather go to a small shop pay more and buy my goods..

    Deep, i donno about Mumbai.. But here in Mangalore there are hardly people who sell duplicate goods..

    Also there is a place like K.R Market in Bangalore (if you have heard) its about 15% cheaper than Metro and about 30% cheaper than normal retail shops.. The place is dirty but the number of people that visit and buy is mind blowing.. Sundays its closed.. wonder how much money those idiots would make if they keep their shops open on Sunday.. they could as well close on a weekday than on a Sunday..

  4. Well I think its a personal choice where you want to shop. I would prefer a shopping mall for the monthly stock of groceries and stuff, like Big Bazaar, I know the queues are long on weekends, but then we get all the stuff in one place conveniently. But then we can’t live without the small stores as well. For normal day to day stuff which we suddenly need, only a small store near your house can help. So they both are there to stay and both are important.

  5. well… to avoid the Q .. go in the afternoon time.. even on weekends u wont find long Q on weekends..

    if i am taking full care of my house .. i will do monthly shopping from mall.. and gp weekly for vegetables..

    my experience says…. after doing monthly shopping we really dont need to buy something else…

    and not going off the topic – these small shop owners has become rude now a days .. because thr business is going because of these malls… thr earning has reduced … also the other reason is tht they have lack of knowledge or i can say skill to hold the customer ..

  6. I dont find any reason why should i move to supermarket except you can find everything underone roof, rates are same what u pays to small shopkeepers. And plus the transport charges to carry the stuff from supermarket to home.

  7. The small shop owners are very monopolistic and arrogant. Supermarket is anytime a viable option and a pleasure to shop at.

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