Loosing on USP

For past few weeks we (me and my better half) are continuously observing a steep downfall in the service provided by the retail chains such as Pyramid, TruMart, Spencer's Daily (formerly Food World) and the likes.

Being in software industry and not yet reached to a level where one can slip out of office at 6 PM, we invariably end up visiting these supermarkets on the weekends. Typically, most of them are out of stock for half the things that we have on our list to purchase. Be it a common thing like atta or something not so common. If you are lucky enough to find the stock, it would be way old, close to the expiry date. More to your unfortune, you would spot some life, which we don't dare to it, inside the packed food item.

We initially thought it's just us who are not that fortunate to find the required stuff. But after repeated instances at TruMart, Bhandarkar Road, we approached the customer helpdesk only to find that they don't keep the complaint book. To our surprise the representative was rude enough, even to listen to the complaint. When we were complaining, few other customers joined us stating even they face the same issue. So we weren't alone! Finally we wrote a complaint in a guest book providing the contact details in a hope that someone would at least care to read it and try to rectify the issue. But we were too optimistic. Nothing happened after that. And in our next visit again few things were missing.

Same experience at Spencer's, Pyramid and Shopper's stop. I am really wondering how do these people are still in business. They are loosing on all of their USPs (Unique Selling points) so fast that I am thinking of going back to good old days of buying grocery from nearby grocery shop.

To me, the USPs of these retail chains are:
  • Availability of decent variety, multiple brands under one roof
  • Pleasent ambience in the form of A/C, Cleanliness
  • Helping staff
  • Facility to pay by credit card w/o any extra charge etc
But I see none of them are having these advantages anymore. Spencer's turn of their A/Cs in the afternoon irrespective of the fact that they are located in underground basement. TruMart is getting notorious for being out of stock everytime. Shopper's stop staff doesn't even know where the belts are located.

Wondering what would happen to these folks when giants like Reliance and WalMart would hit Pune? I feel at least WalMart would turn out to be a better option, solely because it's an international brand and would not like any harm to their reputation. I am really waiting for it ...

Comments

ArSh said…
Hi Mandar,

Agree about these big stores turning out as a fiasco. Spencer's daily is becoming worse after it changed name from Food World. No stock and no helping staff.
I used to go there also because they accept sodexho. But these days, the simple grocery shop owner near my place has also started accepting sodexho :)
Mandar Behere said…
hmmm ... Actually the main thing that these small grocery shops lack is the cleanliness and the freedom to choose from all the available options. You need to know what you want to buy or otherwise depend on what the shopkeeper displayes in the showcases...

- Mandar
Cleanliness appears to be good in the malls. But it could be only the presentation part (packing etc.) Not sure about their backoffice operation about things they themselves handle. Besides, whatever items they take from other vendors, do they enforce hygenic processes on them? I doubt.
Accessibility to all items: I agree. But many routine grocery items, we are normally clear about what we want :) Besides, now some of the (more advanced) grocers have started providing a free delivery on phone call also. One outside Karishma does it. So, want to think again about Mall Vs Grocery shop? :)

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